This is UNESCO

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is an international organization. It is one of the 17 legally independent specialized agencies of the United Nations. It has its headquarters in Paris (France). At present, 195 member states are represented in UNESCO. With the exception of Liechtenstein, the 193 states of the UN are all UNESCO members, as are the Cook Islands, Niue and the Palestinian Territories, which are not represented in the UN. In addition, UNESCO has 9 associate members.

UNESCO's tasks include the promotion of education, science, and culture as well as communication and information. The founding agreement came into force on November 4, 1946, after ratification by 20 states. The first Director-General was Julian Huxley.

The Constitution of UNESCO was signed by 37 states in London on November 16, 1945, half a year after the end of World War II. In the preamble, the guiding principle of UNESCO is stated as follows:

"Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed."

From the experience of World War II, the founding nations drew the lesson:

"That a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind."

The UNESCO World Heritage List

UNESCO awards the title of World Heritage (World Cultural and Natural Heritage) to sites that are of world significance because of their uniqueness, authenticity and integrity. Sites are nominated for the title by the States in which they are located. The basis for the World Heritage title is the World Heritage Convention. It was ratified by 190 States Parties in 1972.

The first World Heritage List from 1978 included the Aachen Cathedral, a German site. Currently (as of January 17, 2024), the UNESCO World Heritage List includes 1,199 monuments in 168 countries. 48 sites extend across political state borders to several countries. 933 sites are considered World Heritage Sites, and 227 sites are World Natural Heritage Sites. 39 sites bear the attribute "Mixed", i.e. they are both cultural and natural heritage.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany

Across Germany, 52 World Heritage sites are currently designated, as well as 28 contributions to the Memory of the World Register. Only four countries in the world can boast more World Heritage titles than Germany. Germany even ranks first in the number of trans-boundary World Heritage sites.
Those who wish to become a World Heritage Site in Germany must submit an expression of interest to the respective Ministry of Culture of their federal state. The German Conference of Ministers of Culture compiles the proposals of the individual federal states into a uniform national list of proposals, the Tentative List. This list is submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for decision.

UNESCO's liaison with Germany is the German Commission for UNESCO. It advises the state on all questions concerning UNESCO membership. Its main areas of work correspond to UNESCO's four programme areas: education, science, culture, as well as communication and information.