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Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education 2019

Paris, 25 November 2019

Depositary - Entry into force - Authoritative texts - States Parties -

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PREAMBLE

The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting in Paris from 12 to 27 November 2019 at its 40th session,

Inspired by a common will to strengthen educational, geographical, humanitarian, cultural, scientific and socioeconomic ties between States Parties, and to enhance dialogue between regions and the sharing of their recognition instruments and practices,

Recalling the Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which stipulates that “the purpose of the Organization is to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture”,

Mindful of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations of 1945, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 and its Protocol of 1967, the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons of 1954, the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education of 1960 and in particular its Article 4a, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966, and the UNESCO Convention on Technical and Vocational Education of 1989,

Mindful of the UNESCO Recommendation on the Recognition of Studies and Qualifications in Higher Education of 1993; the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel of 1997; the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of 2007; and the UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers of 2017,

Building on the UNESCO regional conventions on the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education,

Reaffirming the States Parties’ responsibility to promote inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels and lifelong learning opportunities for all,

Conscious of increasing international cooperation in higher education, of the mobility of students, workers, professionals, researchers and academics, of changes in scientific research, and of the different modes, methods, developments and innovations in teaching and learning,

Considering higher education, provided by both public and private institutions, as a public good and a public responsibility, and being aware of the need to uphold and protect the principles of academic freedom and of the autonomy of higher-education institutions,

Convinced that the international recognition of qualifications concerning higher education will facilitate interdependent learning and knowledge development via the mobility of learners and learning, academics, scientific research and researchers, and workers and professionals and will enhance international cooperation in higher education,

Respecting the cultural diversity among the States Parties, including, inter alia, differences in educational traditions and in the values of higher education,

Desiring to respond to the need for a global convention on the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education to complement the UNESCO regional conventions on the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education, and to enhance the cohesion between them,

Convinced of the need to find common, practical and transparent solutions to improve recognition practices globally,

Convinced that this Convention will promote international mobility, as well as communication and cooperation regarding fair and transparent procedures for recognition, and quality assurance and academic integrity in higher education at a global level,

Adopts this Convention on this twenty-fifth day of November 2019.

SECTION I. DEFINITION OF TERMS

Article I


For the purposes of this Convention, the following definitions shall apply:

Access (to higher education): the right provided to any individual holding a qualification to apply and be considered for admission to a level of higher education

Admission (to higher-education institutions and programmes): the act of, or system for, allowing qualified applicants to pursue higher education at a given institution and/or in a given programme

Applicant:
(a) an individual submitting to the competent recognition authority a qualification, partial studies, or prior learning for assessment and/or recognition; or
(b) an entity acting with consent on behalf of an individual

Assessment: the evaluation of an applicant's qualifications, partial studies, or prior learning by a competent recognition authority engaged in the evaluation of qualifications

Competent authority: an individual or entity that has the authority, capacity, or legal power to perform a designated function

Competent recognition authority: an entity which, in accordance with the laws, regulations, policies, or practices of a State Party, assesses qualifications and/or makes decisions on the recognition of qualifications

Constituent units: official entities of a State Party to this Convention at the level of subnational jurisdictions, such as provinces, states, counties, or cantons, in accordance with Article XX b), Federal or Non-Unitary Constitutional Systems, of this Convention

Cross-border education: all modes of educational delivery which involve the movement of people, knowledge, programmes, providers and curriculum across States Parties’ borders, including, but not limited to, quality-assured international joint degree programmes, cross-border higher education, transnational education, offshore education and borderless education

Displaced person: an individual forced to move from his or her locality or environment and occupational activities to another locality or environment

Formal education system: a State Party’s education system, including all officially recognized entities with responsibility for education, as well as public and private education institutions at all levels recognized by a State Party’s competent authorities and authorized thereby to deliver instruction and other education-related services

Formal learning: learning derived from activities within a structured learning setting, leading to a formal qualification, and provided by an education institution recognized by a State Party’s competent authorities and authorized thereby to deliver such learning activities

Higher education: all types of study programmes or sets of courses of study at the post-secondary level which are recognized by the competent authorities of a State Party, or of a constituent unit thereof, as belonging to its higher-education system

Higher-education institution: an establishment providing higher education and recognized by a competent authority of a State Party, or of a constituent unit thereof, as belonging to its higher-education system

Higher-education programme: a post-secondary programme of study recognized by the competent authority of a State Party, or of a constituent unit thereof, as belonging to its higher-education system and the successful completion of which provides the student with a higher-education qualification

Informal learning: learning which occurs outside the formal education system and which results from daily life activities related to work, family, local community, or leisure
International joint degree: a type of cross-border education degree; a single degree recognized and/or authorized and conferred jointly upon completion of an integrated, coordinated and jointly offered programme, by two or more higher education institutions belonging to more than one country

Learning outcomes: a learner’s acquired knowledge and skills upon completion of a learning process

Lifelong learning: a process which refers to all learning activities, whether formal, non-formal, or informal, covers the entire lifespan and has the aim of improving and developing human capacities, knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies

Mobility: the physical or virtual movement of individuals outside their country for the purpose of studying, researching, teaching, or working

Non-formal learning: learning achieved within an education or training framework which places an emphasis on working life and which does not belong to the formal education system

Non-traditional learning modes: formal, non-formal and informal mechanisms for the delivery of educational programmes and learning activities not primarily relying on face-to-face interaction between the educator and the learner

Partial recognition: the partial recognition of a full and completed qualification which cannot be fully recognized on account of the demonstration of substantial differences by a competent recognition authority

Partial studies: any part of a higher-education programme which has been evaluated and, while not a complete programme in itself, represents a significant acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies

Prior learning: the experience, knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies which an individual has acquired as a result of formal, non-formal, or informal learning, assessed against a given set of learning outcomes, objectives, or standards

Qualification:
(a) Higher-education qualification: any degree, diploma, certificate, or award issued by a competent authority and attesting the successful completion of a higher-education programme or the validation of prior learning, where applicable
(b) Qualification giving access to higher education): any degree, diploma, certificate, or award issued by a competent authority and attesting the successful completion of an education programme or the validation of prior learning, where applicable, and giving the holder of the qualification the right to be considered for admission to higher education

Qualified applicant: an individual who has fulfilled relevant criteria and is considered eligible to apply for admission to higher education

Qualifications framework: a system for the classification, publication and organization of quality-assured qualifications according to a set of criteria

Quality assurance: an ongoing process by which the quality of a higher-education system, institution, or programme is assessed by the competent authority/authorities to assure stakeholders that acceptable educational standards are continuously being maintained and enhanced

Recognition: a formal acknowledgment by a competent recognition authority of the validity and academic level of a foreign education qualification, of partial studies, or of prior learning for the purpose of providing an applicant with outcomes including, but not limited to:
(a) the right to apply for admission to higher education; and/or
(b) the possibility to seek employment opportunities

Region: any one of the areas identified in accordance with the UNESCO definition of regions with a view to the execution by the Organization of regional activities, namely, Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean

Regional recognition conventions: the UNESCO conventions on the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education in each of the UNESCO regions, including the Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in the Arab and European States bordering on the Mediterranean

Requirements:
(a) General requirements: conditions which must be fulfilled for access to higher education, or to a given level thereof, or for the obtaining of a higher-education qualification at a given level
(b) Specific requirements: conditions, in addition to the general requirements, which must be fulfilled for admission to a particular higher-education programme, or for the obtaining of a specific higher-education qualification in a particular field of study

Substantial differences: significant differences between the foreign qualification and the qualification of the State Party which would most likely prevent the applicant from succeeding in a desired activity, such as, but not limited to, further study, research activities, or employment opportunities

SECTION II. OBJECTIVES OF THE CONVENTION

Article II)
Building on and enhancing the coordination, revisions and achievements of the regional recognition conventions, the objectives of this Convention are to:

1. Promote and strengthen international cooperation in higher education;

2. Support interregional initiatives, policies and innovations for international cooperation in higher education;

3. Facilitate global mobility and the achievement of merit in higher education for the mutual benefit of qualification holders, higher-education institutions, employers, and any other stakeholders of the States Parties to this Convention while understanding and respecting the diversity of the States Parties' higher-education systems;

4. Provide an inclusive global framework for the fair, transparent, consistent, coherent, timely and reliable recognition of qualifications concerning higher education;

5. Respect, uphold and protect the autonomy and diversity of higher-education institutions and systems;

6. Foster trust and confidence in the quality and reliability of qualifications through, inter alia, the promotion of integrity and ethical practices;

7. Promote a culture of quality assurance in higher-education institutions and systems, and develop the capacities necessary for ensuring reliability, consistency and complementarity in quality assurance, in qualifications frameworks and in the recognition of qualifications in order to support international mobility;

8. Promote the development, collection and sharing of accessible, up-to-date, reliable, transparent and relevant information and the dissemination of best practices among stakeholders, States Parties and regions;

9. Promote, through the recognition of qualifications, inclusive and equitable access to quality higher education and support lifelong learning opportunities for all, including refugees and displaced persons;

10. Foster globally the optimal use of human and educational resources with a view to promoting education for sustainable development, and contribute to structural, economic, technological, cultural, democratic and social development for all societies.

SECTION III. BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR THE RECOGNITION OF QUALIFICATIONS CONCERNING HIGHER EDUCATION

Article III

For the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education, this Convention establishes the following principles:

1. Individuals have the right to have their qualifications assessed for the purpose of applying for admission to higher education studies or seeking employment opportunities.

2. Recognition of qualifications should be transparent, fair, timely and non-discriminatory in accordance with the rules and regulations of each State Party, and should be affordable.

3. Recognition decisions are based on trust, clear criteria, and fair, transparent and non-discriminatory procedures, and underline the fundamental importance of equitable access to higher education as a public good which may lead to employment opportunities.

4. Recognition decisions are based on appropriate, reliable, accessible and up-to-date information on higher-education systems, institutions, programmes and quality assurance mechanisms which has been provided through the competent authorities of the States Parties, official national information centres, or similar entities.

5. Recognition decisions are made with due respect for the diversity of higher-education systems worldwide.

6. Competent recognition authorities undertaking recognition assessments shall do so in good faith, giving clear reasons for decisions, and have mechanisms for appealing recognition decisions.

7. Applicants seeking recognition of their qualifications provide adequate and accurate information and documentation on their achieved qualifications in good faith, and have the right to appeal.

8. States Parties commit to adopting measures to eradicate all forms of fraudulent practices regarding higher education qualifications by encouraging the use of contemporary technologies and networking activities among States Parties.

SECTION IV. OBLIGATIONS OF THE STATES PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION

This Convention establishes the following obligations for the States Parties:

Article IV. Recognition of Qualifications Giving Access to Higher Education

1. Each State Party shall recognize, for the purposes of access to its higher-education system, the qualifications and documented or certified prior learning acquired in other States Parties which meet the general requirements for access to higher education in those States Parties, unless substantial differences can be shown between the general requirements for access in the State Party in which the qualification was obtained and those in the State Party in which recognition of the qualification is sought. Alternatively, it shall be sufficient for a State Party to enable the holder of a qualification issued in another State Party to obtain an assessment of that qualification.

2. Qualifications acquired through recognized non-traditional learning modes which are subject to comparable quality assurance mechanisms will be assessed according to the rules and regulations of the State Party, or of the constituent unit thereof, using the same criteria as those applied to similar qualifications acquired through traditional learning modes.

3. Where a qualification gives access only to specific types of institutions or programmes of higher education in the State Party in which the qualification was obtained, each State Party shall grant holders of such qualifications access to similar specific types of institutions or programmes belonging to its higher-education system, if available, unless substantial differences can be shown.

Article V. Recognition of Higher-Education Qualifications

1. Each State Party shall recognize a higher-education qualification conferred in another State Party, unless substantial differences can be shown between the qualification for which recognition is sought and the corresponding qualification in the State Party in which recognition is sought. Alternatively, it shall be sufficient for a State Party to enable the holder of a higher-education qualification issued in another State Party to obtain an assessment of that qualification, upon the request of the holder.

2. Higher-education qualifications acquired through recognized non-traditional learning modes which are subject to comparable quality assurance mechanisms and which are considered a part of the higher-education system of a State Party will be assessed according to the rules and regulations of the State Party in which recognition is sought, or of the constituent unit thereof, using the same criteria as those applied to similar qualifications acquired through traditional learning modes.

3. Higher-education qualifications acquired through cross-border education with
international joint degrees or through any other joint programme undertaken in more than one country, of which at least one is a State Party to this Convention, shall be assessed according to the rules and regulations of the State Party in which recognition is sought, or of the constituent unit thereof, using the same criteria as those applied to qualifications acquired through programmes undertaken in a single country.

4. Recognition in a State Party of a higher-education qualification issued in another State Party shall have at least one of the following outcomes:
(a) It shall provide the holder with the right to apply for admission to further higher education under the same conditions as those applicable to holders of higher-education qualifications of the State Party in which recognition is sought; and/or
(b) It shall provide the holder with the right to use the title associated with a higher-education qualification in accordance with the laws or regulations of the State Party, or of the constituent unit thereof, in which recognition is sought.

In addition, assessment and recognition may enable qualified applicants to seek employment opportunities subject to the laws and regulations of the State Party, or of the constituent unit thereof, in which recognition is sought.

5. Where a competent recognition authority can demonstrate substantial differences between the qualification for which recognition is sought and the corresponding qualification in the State Party in which recognition is sought, the competent recognition authority shall seek to establish whether partial recognition may be granted.

6. Each State Party may make the recognition of higher-education qualifications acquired through cross-border education or through foreign educational institutions operating in its jurisdiction contingent upon specific requirements of the legislation or regulations of the State Party, or of the constituent unit thereof, or upon specific agreements concluded with the State Party of origin of such institutions.

Article VI. Recognition of Partial Studies and Prior Learning

1. Each State Party may recognize, for the purpose of the completion of a higher-education programme or the continuation of higher education studies, where appropriate, and taking into account the legislation of the States Parties regarding access, documented or certified partial studies or documented or certified prior learning acquired in another State Party, unless substantial differences can be shown between the partial studies or prior learning and the part of the higher-education programme they or it would replace in the State Party in which recognition is sought. Alternatively, it shall be sufficient for a State Party to enable an individual who has undertaken documented or certified partial studies or documented or certified prior learning in another State Party to obtain an assessment of these partial studies or this prior learning, upon the request of the individual concerned.
2. Documented or certified partial completion of higher-education programmes delivered by recognized non-traditional learning modes which are subject to comparable quality assurance mechanisms and which are considered a part of the higher-education system of a State Party shall be assessed according to the rules and regulations of the State Party, or of the constituent unit thereof, using the same criteria as those applied to partial studies delivered by traditional learning modes.

3. Documented or certified partial completion of higher-education programmes delivered through cross-border education with international joint degrees or any other joint programme undertaken in more than one country, of which at least one is a State Party to this Convention, will be assessed according to the rules and regulations of the State Party, or of the constituent unit thereof, using the same criteria as those applied to partial studies acquired in a single country.

Article VII. Recognition of Partial Studies and Qualifications Held by Refugees and Displaced Persons

Each State Party shall take the necessary and feasible steps, within its education system and in conformity with its constitutional, legislative and regulatory provisions, to develop reasonable procedures for assessing fairly and efficiently whether refugees and displaced persons fulfil the relevant requirements for access to higher education, to further higher-education programmes, or to the seeking of employment opportunities, including in cases where partial studies, prior learning, or qualifications acquired in another country cannot be proven by documentary evidence.

Article VIII. Information for Assessment and Recognition

1. Each State Party shall establish transparent systems for the complete description of the qualifications and learning outcomes obtained in its territory.

2. Each State Party, to the extent feasible based on its constitutional, legislative and regulatory situation and structure, shall put in place an objective and reliable system for the approval, recognition and quality assurance of its higher-education institutions in order to promote confidence and trust in its higher-education system.

3. Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national information centre or similar entities to provide access to relevant, accurate and up-to-date information about its higher-education system.

4. Each State Party shall encourage the use of technologies to ensure easy access to information.

5. Each State Party shall:
(a) Provide access to authoritative and accurate information on its higher-education systems, qualifications, quality assurance, and qualification frameworks, if applicable;
(b) Facilitate the dissemination of and access to accurate information on the other States Parties’ higher-education systems, qualifications, and qualifications giving access to higher education;
(c) Give advice and information, where appropriate, on recognition matters, including criteria and procedures for the assessment of qualifications, and the development of materials for good recognition practices in accordance with the laws, regulations and policies of the State Party; and
(d) Ensure the provision, within a reasonable time, of adequate information on any institution belonging to its higher-education system, and on any programme operated by such institutions, with a view to enabling the competent authorities of other States Parties to ascertain whether the quality of the qualifications issued by these institutions justifies recognition in the State Party in which recognition is sought.

Article IX. Assessment of an Application

1. In the first instance, the responsibility for providing adequate information rests with the applicant, who shall provide such information in good faith.

2. Each State Party shall ensure that the institutions belonging to its education system provide to the extent available, upon request, within a reasonable time frame and free of charge, relevant information to the holder of a qualification or to the institution or the competent recognition authorities of the State Party in which recognition is sought.

3. Each State Party shall ensure that the body undertaking assessment for the purposes of recognition demonstrates the reasons for which an application does not fulfil requirements or demonstrates where substantial differences are identified.

Article X. Information on the Competent Recognition Authorities

1. Each State Party shall provide the depository of this Convention with official notification of the competent authorities that make decisions on recognition matters in its jurisdiction.

2. Where there are central competent recognition authorities of a State Party, they shall immediately be bound by the provisions of this Convention and shall take the necessary measures to ensure the implementation of the provisions of this Convention in the jurisdiction of said State Party.

3. Where the competence to make decisions on recognition matters lies with the constituent units, the State Party shall furnish the depository with a brief statement on its constitutional situation or structure at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession, and on any changes thereafter. In such cases, the competent recognition authorities of the constituent units so designated shall take, to the extent feasible within the State Party’s constitutional situation and structure, the necessary measures to ensure the implementation of the provisions of this Convention within the State Party’s jurisdiction.

4. Where the competence to make decisions on recognition matters lies with individual higher-education institutions or other entities, each State Party or constituent unit thereof, according to its constitutional situation or structure, shall transmit the text of this Convention to these institutions or entities and shall take all the necessary steps to encourage the favourable consideration and application of its provisions.

5. The provisions of paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of this Article shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the obligations of the States Parties under this Convention.

Article XI. Additional Requirements for Admission to Higher-Education Programmes

1. Where admission to particular higher-education programmes is dependent on the fulfilment of specific requirements in addition to the general requirements for access, the competent authorities of the State Party concerned may impose the same specific requirements on holders of qualifications obtained in other States Parties or assess whether applicants with qualifications obtained in other States Parties fulfil the equivalent requirements.
2. Where qualifications giving access to higher education in one State Party are issued only in combination with additional qualifying examinations as a prerequisite for access, the other States Parties may make access conditional on these requirements or offer an alternative for satisfying such additional requirements within their own education systems.

3. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article IV, admission to a given higher-education institution, or to a given programme within such an institution, may be restricted or selective, according to fair and transparent regulations.

4. With respect to paragraph 3 of the present article, admission procedures shall be designed with a view to ensuring that the assessment of foreign qualifications is carried out according to the principles of transparency, fairness and non-discrimination described in Article III.

5. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article IV, admission to a given higher-education institution may be based on the condition of the demonstration by the qualification holder of sufficient competence in the language or languages of instruction of the institution concerned, or in other specified languages.

6. For the purpose of admission to higher-education programmes, each State Party may make the recognition of qualifications issued by foreign educational institutions operating in its jurisdiction contingent upon specific requirements of the legislation and regulations of the State Party or the constituent unit thereof, or upon specific agreements concluded with the State Party of origin of such institutions.

SECTION V. IMPLEMENTATION STRUCTURES AND COOPERATION

Article XII. Implementation Structures


The States Parties agree to implement this Convention through or in cooperation with:
1. National implementation structures;
2. Networks of national implementation structures;
3. National, regional and global organizations for accreditation, quality assurance, qualification frameworks, and recognition of qualifications;
4. The Intergovernmental Conference of the States Parties;
5. Regional recognition convention committees.

Article XIII. National Implementation Structures

1. In order to facilitate the recognition of higher-education qualifications, the States Parties undertake to implement this Convention through relevant organizations, including national information centres or similar entities.

2. Each State Party will notify the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Conference of the States Parties of its national implementation structures and of any modification in this regard.

3. National implementation structures should form and actively participate in networks.

Article XIV. Networks of National Implementation Structures

1. Under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Conference of the States Parties, the networks shall be composed of national implementation structures of the States Parties and shall uphold and assist with the practical implementation of this Convention.

2. The networks shall provide information exchange, capacity building and technical support to the States Parties upon request.

3. The networks shall seek to strengthen the interregional cooperation under this Convention and uphold links to the Intergovernmental Conference of the States Parties.

4. States Parties may participate in existing regional networks established through the regional recognition conventions or create new networks. Participation in existing regional networks shall be subject to the agreement of the relevant regional recognition convention committees.

Article XV. The Intergovernmental Conference of the States Parties

1. An Intergovernmental Conference of the States Parties, hereinafter referred to as “the Conference”, shall be established.

2. The Conference shall be composed of representatives of all States Parties to this Convention.

3. The States which are not States Parties to this Convention and the heads of the regional recognition convention committees shall be invited to participate in the meetings of the Conference as observers.

4. Representatives of relevant international and regional organizations, as well as representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations active in the field of recognition of higher-education qualifications, may also be invited to attend meetings of the Conference as observers.

5. The Conference shall meet in ordinary sessions at least every two years. It may meet in extraordinary sessions if it so decides or at the request of at least one third of the States Parties. The Conference shall have an interim work programme concerning activities between sessions. The Conference shall submit a report at each of the ordinary sessions of the General Conference of UNESCO.

6. The Conference shall meet for the first time within two years of the entry into force of this Convention, and at that time it shall adopt its own rules of procedure.

7. The Conference shall promote the application of this Convention and shall oversee its implementation by adopting recommendations, declarations, models of good practices, or any relevant subsidiary text at the global or interregional level.

8. The Conference may adopt operational guidelines for the States Parties to this Convention, in consultation with the regional recognition convention committees.

9. The Conference shall support the follow-up of the activities relating to monitoring by and reporting to UNESCO’s governing bodies with regard to the implementation of this Convention.

10. The Conference shall cooperate with the regional recognition convention committees under the auspices of UNESCO.

11. The Conference shall ensure that there is the necessary information exchange between the Conference and the regional recognition convention committees.
12. The Conference shall examine for adoption the draft amendments to this Convention in accordance with Article XXIII. The amendments adopted shall not undermine the principles of transparent, fair, timely and non-discriminatory recognition stated in this Convention.

13. The Secretariat of the Conference shall be provided by the Director-General of UNESCO. The Secretariat shall prepare the documentation of the Conference, draft the agenda of its meetings, and ensure the implementation of its decisions.

SECTION VI. FINAL CLAUSES

Article XVI. Ratification, Acceptance, or Approval by Member States


1. This Convention shall be subject to ratification, acceptance, or approval by Member States of UNESCO and the Holy See in accordance with their respective constitutional and legislative procedures.

2. The instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval shall be deposited with the Director-General of UNESCO.

Article XVII. Accession

1. This Convention shall be open to accession by all States which are not members of UNESCO but which are Members of the United Nations and are invited by the General Conference of UNESCO to accede to it.

2. This Convention shall also be open to accession by territories which enjoy full internal self-government recognized as such by the United Nations, but which have not attained full independence in accordance with General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), and which have competence over the matters governed by this Convention, including the competence to enter into treaties in respect of such matters.

3. The instrument of accession shall be deposited with the Director-General of UNESCO.

Article XVIII. Entry into Force

1. This Convention shall enter into force three months after the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession, but only with regard to those States Parties which have deposited their respective instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession on or before that date.

2. This Convention shall enter into force with regard to any other State Party three months after the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.

Article XIX. Relationship between the States Parties to this Convention and the Parties to the Regional Recognition Conventions and to other Treaties

1. The ratification of, acceptance of, approval of, or accession to of any of the regional recognition conventions shall not be a prerequisite for the ratification of, acceptance of, approval of, or accession to this Convention.

2. The States Parties to this Convention shall:
(a) Foster mutual support between this Convention and the other treaties to which they are parties, particularly the regional recognition conventions; and
(b) Take into account the relevant provisions of this Convention when interpreting and applying the regional recognition conventions to which they are parties or when entering into other international obligations.

3. Nothing in this Convention shall be interpreted as modifying the rights and obligations of the States Parties under the regional recognition conventions and any other treaties to which they are parties.

4. To ensure coherent interaction between this Convention, the regional recognition conventions, any other relevant bilateral or multilateral agreements, and any other existing or future treaty or convention to which a State Party to this Convention may be or may become a party, nothing in this Convention shall be deemed to derogate from any provisions more favourable to recognition, in particular, provisions regarding national information centres, networks and substantial differences.

Article XX. Federal or Non-Unitary Constitutional Systems

Recognizing that international agreements are equally binding on States Parties regardless of their constitutional systems, the following provisions shall apply to States Parties which have a federal or non-unitary constitutional system:
(a) With regard to the provisions of this Convention the implementation of which comes under the legal jurisdiction of the federal or central legislative power, the obligations of the federal or central Government shall be the same as for those States Parties which are not federal States;
(b) With regard to the provisions of the Convention the implementation of which comes under the jurisdiction of constituent units of a State Party, such as provinces, states, counties, or cantons, which are not obliged by the constitutional system of the federation to take legislative measures, the federal Government shall inform, as necessary, the competent authorities of the constituent units of a State Party of said provisions, with its recommendation for their adoption.

Article XXI. Denunciation

1. Any State Party to this Convention may denounce, at any time, this Convention.

2. The denunciation shall be notified by an instrument in writing deposited with the Director-General of UNESCO.

3. The denunciation shall take effect 12 months after the receipt of the instrument of denunciation. It shall in no way affect the obligations under this Convention incumbent upon the State Party denouncing the Convention until the date on which the withdrawal takes effect.

4. The denunciation of this Convention shall not have any impact with respect to:
(a) Recognition decisions taken previously under the provisions of this Convention;
(b) The recognition assessments still in progress under this Convention.

Article XXII. Depositary Functions

The Director-General of UNESCO, as the depositary of this Convention, shall inform the Member States of the Organization, the States not members of the Organization referred to in Article XVII, as well as the United Nations, of:
(a) The deposit of all the instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession provided for in Articles XVI and XVII;
(b) The denunciations provided for in Article XXI;
(c) The amendments to the Convention adopted in accordance with Article XXIII and the date on which the amendments come into force as proposed in accordance with Article XXIII.

Article XXIII. Amendments

1. A State Party to this Convention may, by written communication addressed to the Director-General of UNESCO, propose amendments to this Convention. The Director-General shall circulate such communication to all States Parties. If within six months of the date of dispatch of the communication, no less than one half of the States Parties to the Convention reply favourably to the request, the Director-General shall present such proposal to the next session of the Intergovernmental Conference of the States Parties for discussion and possible adoption.

2. Amendments shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of States Parties present and voting.

3. Once adopted, amendments to this Convention shall be submitted to the States Parties for ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.

4. For States Parties which have ratified, accepted, approved, or acceded to them, amendments to this Convention shall enter into force three months after the deposit by two thirds of the States Parties of the instruments referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article. Thereafter, for each State Party which ratifies, accepts, approves, or accedes to an amendment, said amendment shall enter into force three months after the date on which that State Party has deposited its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.

5. A State which becomes a State Party to this Convention after the entry into force of amendments in conformity with paragraph 4 of this Article shall, failing an expression of different intention, be considered to be:
(a) A State Party to this Convention as so amended; and
(b) A State Party to the unamended Convention in relation to any State Party not bound by the amendments.

Article XXIV. Registration with the United Nations

In conformity with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, this Convention shall be registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations at the request of the Director-General of UNESCO.

Article XXV. Authoritative Texts

This Convention has been drawn up in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, all six texts being equally authoritative.

Depositary :

UNESCO

Entry into force :

In accordance with the terms of its Article XVIII, the Convention shall enter into force three months after the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession, but only with regard to those States Parties which have deposited their respective instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession on or before that date.

Authoritative texts :

Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish

States Parties

List in alphabetical order
List in chronological order

 

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