The English section of this website displays a selection of articles that reflect Dutch UNESCO-related activities.

The Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO was established in 1947. The National Commission has a maximum of eleven members, all of whom are experts in one or more of UNESCO's fields of interest. The Commission is supported by a small secretariat. The Commission is part of a large worldwide network of nearly 200 National Commissions, all fulfilling similar roles. UNESCO is the only United Nations organisation with a network of this kind. Every two years Commission provides a working programme based on the programmes and policy cycle of UNESCO and the added value that UNESCO can provide to the Netherlands in certain areas and vice versa, and the relevance of themes to policy, society and professional organisations in the Netherlands. The Commission also seeks to collaborate with relevant partners at both national and international level.


2015 Annual Report, Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO

News & backgrounds

Temple of Bel, Palmyra. (Photo: cc/flickr.com Paul Stocker)

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed profound dismay as she condemned the destruction of the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, one of the most important 1st century CE religious monuments in the Middle East. “The destruction of Palmyra constitutes an intolerable crime against civilization but 4,500 years of history will never be erased,” the Director-General declared.

The Syrian cultural heritage community suffered two immense blows within one week with the murder of archaeologist Khaled Assad in Palmyra and the killing of the Assistant Director of laboratories

At the end of July, UNESCO's project for digital sustainability, PERSIST, was presented at the annual conference of the Open Source Community KDE, that took place in A Coruña, Spain. KDE is an international team co-operating on development and distribution of Free, Open Source Software (FOSS) for desktop and portable computing.


The annual conference of the International federation of Library Associations and Institutions will take place in Cape Town, South Africa. Every year this conference is host to a UNESCO session, which this time will be devoted to developing Guidelines for the Selection of Digital Heritage.

Recently the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO organised an expert meeting about cultural heritage and its role in promoting social cohesion and inclusive societies. Much research has been done on this issue. However, the findings are often absent from the political debate.

Fishermen unloading their catch to the local fish market in the Mekong Delta. (Photo: CC/Esin Üstün)

The Hague Institute for Global Justice has published a new policy brief on adaptive delta governance. Based on an analysis of the challenges in three deltas, the brief provides recommendations for dealing with the uncertainties of the impacts of climate change, on closing the innovation gap between science, policy and society, and on facilitating effective stakeholder participation, learning and integration.

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