Lithuania's long-standing engagement with UNESCO
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO is specialised agency of the United Nations that seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. It‘s unique mandate in these areas allows to strengthen lasting peace, sustainable development and human rights by facilitating dialogue among nations. Founded in 1945, UNESCO has 193 member states and 11 associate members. Headquartered at the World Heritage Centre in Paris, France, UNESCO has 53 regional field offices and 199 national commissions that facilitate its global mandate. This year marks 30 years of Lithuania’s membership at UNESCO. The country joined UNESCO on 7 October 1991.
UNESCO Executive Board is one of the three constitutional organs of UNESCO (the others being the General Conference and the Secretariat) and the General Conference elects it.
The Board examines the programme of work for the Organization and budget estimates. It consists of 58 Member States each with a four-year term of office. The Executive Board meets in regular sessions at least four times during a biennium. It holds two regular sessions per year. It meets for two to three weeks each time.
During the thirty years of Lithuania's membership in UNESCO, a strong cooperation bond has been established. Lithuania has always been committed to multilateralism and continues to strengthen effective multilateral cooperation. Building peace through cooperation in education, science, culture, information and communication has always been and will remain our priority.
We present Lithuania‘s priorities for its candidacy to the UNESCO Executive Board 2021-2025:
- Strengthening effective multilateralism.
- Accelerated joint efforts of the Organization and its Member States to restore sectors of education, science, culture, communication and information in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Effective UNESCO's response to the global challenges and their consequences, ensuring better governance.
- Upholding UNESCO's implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.
- Ensuring inclusive and high-quality education for all. Implementation of the Global Education Agenda.
- Support for the development of science, digital technologies and innovations, advancement and implementation of ethical principles for artificial intelligence, development of open data in the fields of education, science and culture.
- Enhancing media and information literacy and ensuring universal access to the Internet, use of information and communication technologies, innovation for learning, research, protection of documentary, cultural and natural heritage.
- UNESCO’s increased involvement in the protection of human rights. Support for freedom of expression and media freedom. Ensuring access to information, the safety of journalists and accountability for crimes against them.
- Focus on the digitization of climate change measures and the strengthening of forecasting and alert systems.
- Strengthening the role of experts in UNESCO decision-making.
Kaunas Modernist architecture on the way to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
Lithuania submitted nomination dossier „Modernist Kaunas: Architecture of Optimism, 1919–1939“ to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris in order to present a unique historical and architectural example of modernism in Europe. In 1920 Kaunas became the temporary capital of Lithuania. In 19 years it developed into political, economic and cultural centre. This nomination dossier is intended to present the development of modern Lithuania, to assess the historical influences, the change of values and the origins of cultural identity in the development of European and world history. Furthermore, the phenomenon of Kaunas creation is introduced. Kaunas is an exceptional example of a modern city characterized by rapid urbanization and modernization. It is also defined by a variety of expressions of values and aspirations associated with an optimistic belief in an independent future.
11 Lithuanian Heritage Inscriptions:
Four World Heritage sites in Lithuania
- Vilnius Historic Centre,
- Curonian Spit,
- Kernavė Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernavė),
- Struve Geodetic Arc.
Lithuanian Intangible Cultural Heritage:
- Lithuanian Cross-Crafting and Its Symbolism,
- The Baltic Song and Dance Celebrations – together with Latvia and Estonia,
- Sutartinės, Lithuanian Multipart Songs.
Documentary heritage objects inscribed on the International Memory of the World Register:
- The Radziwill's Archives and Niasvizh Library Collection,
- The Baltic Way - Human Chain Linking Three States, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, in Their Drive for Freedom,
- The Act of the Union of Lublin Document.
The World Network of UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserves:
- Žuvintas Biosphere Reserve