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Standard-Setting Instruments

When, cultural differences and traditions notwithstanding, States agree to common rules, they can draw up an international instrument: an agreement or convention, which are legally binding, a recommendation or a declaration.

UNESCO participates in this effort through its standard-setting action, serving as a central forum for coordinating the ethical, normative and intellectual issues of our time, fostering multidisciplinary exchange and mutual understanding, working – where possible and desirable – towards universal agreements on these issues, defining benchmarks and mobilizing international opinion.

This site lists each instrument by type and by UNESCO sector of activity. For each instrument you will find HTML versions of the texts in English and French, and links to PDF files from our official documents in the six official languages of UNESCO.

More information :



06-12-2017 Ratification by Ethiopia of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (Paris, 14 November 1970) UNESCO
On 22 November 2017, Ethiopia deposited with the Director-General its instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. More

21-11-2017 Ratification by Sweden to the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague, 26 March 1999) UNESCO
On 10 November 2017, Sweden deposited with the Director-General its instrument of ratification to the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. More

21-11-2017 Accession by Turkey to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Paris, 20 October 2005) UNESCO
On 2 November 2017, Turkey deposited with the Director-General its instrument of accession to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. More

21-11-2017 Accession by Afghanistan to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague, 14 May 1954) UNESCO
On 26 October 2017, Afghanistan deposited with the Director-General its instrument of accession to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague, 14 May 1954). More

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