UNESCO Conventions, Recommendations & Declarations in the UK

Standard-setting instruments that work towards universal agreements and benchmarks

UNESCO during the General Conference

UNESCO acts as a central coordinating body for fostering international and intercultural dialogue on the ethical, normative and intellectual issues of our time.

The Organisation works to foster multidisciplinary exchange and mutual understanding, working towards universal agreements and standards on these issues, defining benchmarks and mobilising international opinion. It does this largely through its three standard-setting instruments:

  1. Conventions: subject to ratification, acceptance or accession by States. They are legally binding and define rules with which Member States agree to comply.
  2. Recommendations: norms that are not subject to ratification and are not legally binding.
  3. Declarations: another means of defining norms that are not subject to ratification. Like Recommendations, they set forth universal principles to which Member States offer their broadest possible support. One notable example is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on 10 December 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly.