UNESCO and national non-governmental organizations
On the national level, non-governmental organizations wishing to collaborate with UNESCO, can have access to operational relations. Within this framework, relations are established in consultation with National Commissions for UNESCO and in liaison with UNESCO field units.
UNESCO field units, which are responsible for developing cooperation between the Organization and the countries which they cover and to which they act as the Organization's representatives.
National Commissions are national cooperative bodies set up by each Member State to act as a liaison body for all matters of concern to UNESCO. Their task is to involve in the work of the Organization all the different ministerial departments, services, institutions, organizations and citizens in their country working for the advancement of education, science, culture and communication.
National NGOs have then two main partners to which they can refer:
Field units and National Commissions are well placed to maintain close relations with organizations that are active on the ground, understand their structure, gauge their dynamism and vitality, vouch for their democratic functioning, inform them of available local possibilities for cooperation and bring their objectives and priorities more in line with those of UNESCO. In short, they are the guarantors of the quality of such cooperation, which seeks to be concrete and close to the concerns of the communities involved.
There are also a number of networks and NGO coalitions which allow these organizations to participate in international cooperation within a broader framework. These collective mechanisms can be structured around a particular theme or cover a given geographical region.
More information about networks and NGO coalitions can be obtained from National Commissions, UNESCO Field Units or from the Sector of the external relations and public information (Section for NGOs
) at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
A national NGO wishing to establish links of cooperation with UNESCO can, finally, request its affiliation to an international NGO already maintaining official partnership with UNESCO. It can thus take advantage of official relations with the Organization "by affiliation", which facilitates its contacts at national level.