Brief History

Brief History of UNESCO

UNESCO: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is one of the specialized intergovernmental agencies of the United Nations founded in 1945. It is also the only UN-agency with a system of National Commissions and currently has 195 members and 8 associated members.

UNESCO contributes to the construction of peace, human development and intercultural dialogue in an era of globalization through education, natural science, social and human science, culture, communication and information.

Core functions of UNESCO


  • Laboratory of ideas; research
  • Standard Settings; through conventions and declarations
  • Clearing house; for information gathering and dissemination
  • Capacity building; training and technical assistance
  • Catalyst for international cooperation through National Commissions and other agencies





National Commissions (NATCOMs) for UNESCO are established in accordance with Article VII of the UNESCO constitution. Each country, on becoming a member of UNESCO is invited to set up a NATCOM in accordance with its own conditions. NATCOMs ensure the permanent presence of UNESCO and implementation of UNESCO mandate in Member States.
The Charter of National Commissions provides guidance on the role and operation of NATCOMs as well as obligations of Member States and UNESCO to UNATCOMs.

Uganda became a member of UNESCO on 19th November 1962 and established a National Commission for UNESCO in September 1963. The UNATCOM is established by an act of parliament as an institution of government under the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports. The UNATCOM Act 2014 is the law applicable for the operations of the NATCOM.


  • The UNESCO Constitution provides that each Member State defines the legal status and funding of its National Commission.
  • UNATCOM gets subvention from government to cover operation costs and projects.
  • Specific projects and activities are funded through UNESCO Participation Programmes, Regular Budget and Extra-Budget sources.

Other activities are funded through collaboration with other partners.

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