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UNESCO, the United Nations organisation for education, science, culture and communication, is a specialised organisation of the United Nations founded in 1945. It has 195 member states and 8 associated members. Switzerland has been a member since 1949.
Through international intellectual cooperation, it promotes development and, transcending mere material progress, it tries to respond to the full spectrum of human aspirations without eroding the common human heritage for future generations. It also works to bring about a culture of peace, based on citizenship that is fully assumed and exercised.
Switzerland plays an active role in UNESCO and is represented by a permanent delegation at the organisation's headquarters in Paris. It also has a seat on various intergovernmental committees.
The Swiss UNESCO Commission implements the values and objectives of UNESCO in Switzerland and advises the federal authorities on relations with UNESCO. In line with its priorities and by means of specific projects, it builds bridges between members of the international community, civil society in Switzerland and federal and cantonal political authorities. It comprises 20 members appointed by the Federal Council. Its secretariat is part of the FDFA.