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Permanent Delegation of Iceland to the OECD and UNESCO

The Embassy also acts as a Permanent Delegation of Iceland to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was established in 1945 and Iceland became a member on 8 June 1964. UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) and and its main objective is to strengthen international cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture and the media.

Iceland was elected as a member the UNESCO Executive Board at the organization's General Conference in November 2021 for the period 2021-2025. Previously Iceland has held a seat on the Executive Board of UNESCO, for the periods 1983-1987 and 2001-2005.

Further information on Iceland's work on the UNESCO Executive Board 2021-2025:

Iceland and UNESCO

The former President of Iceland, Ms Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, has been a Goodwill Ambassador for Languages since 1998 and was the President of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) for two years.

There are two Category II Centres operating in Iceland under the auspices of UNESCO: Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding and GRÓ International Centre for Capacity Development, Sustainability and Societal Change. In 2019 Iceland signed a framework agreement providing UNESCO with funding for development projects in the fields of education, media freedom, and safety of journalists.

In 2011 Reykjavík was named as a City of Literature, joining UNESCO‘s creative cities network. Further information on World Heritage sites, memory of the world inscriptions, Global Geoparks and Biosphere reserve in Iceland can be found on UNESCO's webpage.

The National Commission and Permanent Delegation

The Icelandic National Commission for UNESCO was established in 1966 and is responsible for advising the Icelandic Government and delegation at the UNESCO General Conference in matters concerning the organisation. 

The Embassy of Iceland in Paris acts as a Permanent Delegation of Iceland to UNESCO. The Permanent Delegate of Iceland is one of the co-chairs of the Group of Friends for Gender Equality along with the Permanent Delegate of Oman. The group supports UNESCO’s work in the field of Gender Equality.

Iceland has ratified the following conventions:

18.09.1956: Universal copyright convention, Geneva 6.9.1952
02.12.1977: Convention on wetlands of international importance esp. as waterfowl habitat, Ramsar (Iran) 2.2.1971
11.06.1986: Protocol to amend the same, Paris 3.12.1982
18.06.1993: Protocol to amend the same, Regina, Canada, 28.5.1987
15.03.1994: International convention for the protection of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcast organisations, Rome 26.10.1961
19.12.1995: Convention for the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage, Paris 16.11.1972
09.02.2005: Convention on the illicit import, export & transfer of ownership of cultural property done at Paris 14.11.1970
05.10.2005: Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Paris 17.10.2003
10.02.2006: International Convention against Doping in Sport, París 19.10.2005
01.02.2007: Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, París 20.10.2005

Signatory to:

11.04.1997: Convention on the recognition of qualifications concerning higher education in the Europe region
02.07.2004: Thingvellir inscribed on the World Heritage list
07.07.2008: Surtsey inscribed on the World Heritage list
05.07.2019: Vatnajökull National Park inscribed on the World Heritage list

Further information:

Iceland is a founding member of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). In 2013 Iceland became member of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The goal of the OECD is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity, and well-being for all. Iceland, through its Permanent Delegation in Paris and Ministries and institutions in Iceland, is an active participant in the Organisation's activities, which range from establishing evidence-based international standards to finding solutions to various social, economic and environmental challenges.

The OECD was born out of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) which oversaw the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Iceland was one of 20 countries signing the founding Convention of the OECD on 14 December 1960, pledging its full dedication to achieving the Organisation’s fundamental goals. The OECD´s motto is "Better policies for better lives".

Further information:

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