Relations between Azerbaijan and UNESCO

The Charter of UNESCO, a specialised organisation of the United Nations in the area of science, education and culture, was signed in London on the 16th of November 1945, and on the 4th of November 1946, UNESCO, consisting of 20 member states, became operational. Currently, UNESCO has 193 members and 11 associate members. There are three main bodies of UNESCO: the General Conference, the Executive Council and the Secretariat. Mrs Audrey Azoulay (France) has been the Director-General of UNESCO since the 15th of November 2017. After regaining its independence, Azerbaijan became a member of UNESCO on the 3rd of June 1992. In accordance with the Order dated the 21st of February 1994 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, the National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO was established.

The First Vice President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, was awarded the title of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for her continuous efforts in the field of safeguarding and developing the oral and traditional musical heritage of Azerbaijan in September 2004. 3 examples of Azerbaijan's material cultural heritage, namely, Icheri Sheher, Maiden Tower and Shirvanshahs Palace Complex, are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. Later, the Cultural Landscape of Gobustan Rock Art (2007) and Historical Center of Sheki together with Khan’s Palace (2019) were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

13 examples of intangible cultural heritage of Azerbaijan (“Azerbaijan Mugham” (2008), “Azerbaijan Ashyg Art” (2009), “Novruz” (2009), “Traditional Azerbaijani Carpet Art” (2010), “Tar and its Performing Art” (2012), “Traditional Kelaghai art and symbolism, preparation and use of women`s silk headdresses” (2014), “Lahyj’s art of copper-smelting” (2015), “Culture of making and sharing thin bread: lavash, katrima, jupka, yufka ( 2016), “Tradition of cooking and sharing dolma as an indicator of cultural identity” (2017), “Making and performing art of kamancha stringed musical instrument” (2017), “Dada Gorgud / Korkyt Ata / Dede Korkut heritage: Epic culture, folk tales and music” (2018), “Miniature Art” (2020) and “Pomegranate Holiday, Traditional Pomegranate Festival and Culture” (2020)) are included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, 2 heritage samples (“Chovgan Traditional Karabakh Horse Game in the Republic of Azerbaijan” “(2013) and Yally (Kochari, Tanzara), traditional group dance of Nakhchivan” (2018)) was included in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. Our country`s “Medieval Medical and Pharmaceutical Manuscripts of Azerbaijan” (2005) and “Copy of Fuzuli`s Divan Manuscript” (2017) were included in the UNESCO International Register of World Memory. The 600th anniversary of the death of Imadeddin Nasimi (2017), the 300th anniversary of the birth of Mollah Panah Vagif (2017), the 200th anniversary of the establishment of German settlements in the South Caucasus (2017), the 100th anniversary of the birth of Gara Garayev (2018), the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Baku State University (2019), the 150th anniversary of the birth of Abdurrahim bey Hagverdiyev (2020) were celebrated within the framework of the UNESCO programme of anniversaries of prominent personalities and significant events in the last 5 years. 18 educational institutions operating in our country have joined the UNESCO Associated Schools Network Programme (ASPnet).

Three cities of Azerbaijan - Baku, Gabala and Ganja - joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities on the 21st of September 2020.

There are three UNESCO departments in Azerbaijan: UNESCO Department of Human Rights and Information Law at Baku State University (2015); UNESCO Chair on “Strengthening the professional development of teachers through ICT-based approach” at the Center for Innovative Technologies and Further Education (2017) and UNESCO Ashyg Shamshir Chair on Folk Music Heritage and Narrative Traditions at the Institute of Folklore of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (2020).

In 2017, by the decision of the General Conference of UNESCO, the city of Sheki was included in the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities on the theme of crafts and folk art, and in 2019, the city of Baku on the theme of design.

UNESCO Clubs have been established in 6 educational institutions operating in our country - the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan State Pedagogical University, Azerbaijan Technical University, Azerbaijan National Conservatory, as well as Baku European Lyceum and school-lyceum No. 20.


VIP visits


On 4-6 May 2017, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova visited Azerbaijan to participate in the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue. On the 18th of May 2018, the First Vice President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, attended and addressed a conference in Paris on the occasion of the 80th Anniversary of former UNESCO Director-General, Mr Kōichirō Matsuura. On the 30th of June to the 2nd of July 2019, UNESCO Director-General, Mr Odre Azule, visited our country to attend the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Baku.


Subsidiaries of UNESCO, of which Azerbaijan is a member


1. Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (2017-2021);

2. Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2018-2022);

3. Intergovernmental Committee of the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2019-2023);

4. Intergovernmental Committee on Physical Culture and Sports (CIGEPS) (2019-2023);

5. Intergovernmental Council of the International Program for the Development of Communications (2019-2023).


National committees established in Azerbaijan in various fields of UNESCO


1. ICOM- International Council of Museums;

2. IHP- International Hydrological Programme;

3. MAB- Man and the Biosphere Programme;

4. IBC- International Bioethics Committee;

5. IFAP - Information For All Programme;

6. Memory of the World Register Programme.


Documents signed between UNESCO and Azerbaijan


  1. On the 24th of November 2010, the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and UNESCO signed an Agreement on the Action Plan for the Japan Trust Fund for Human Resource Development.
  2. The “Framework Agreement on Cooperation in Education, Science, Culture and Communication between the Government of Azerbaijan and UNESCO” was signed on the 18th of July 2013. On the 28th of January 2020, a Protocol amending the Framework Agreement between Azerbaijan and UNESCO for the next 5 years was signed at UNESCO Headquarters.
  3. On the 24th of January 2014, the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation on the Organisation of the Young Professional Partner (YPP) Programme was signed.


UNESCO Conventions to which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a party


  1. The Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 14 May 1954 (1993), and the First Protocol (1993) and the Second Protocol (2000);
  2. Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of the 16th of November 1972 (1993);
  3. Convention on the Recognition of Courses, Diplomas in Higher Education and Degrees in the European Region of the 21st of December 1979 (1994);
  4. Regional Convention on the Recognition of Courses, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Asia and the Pacific. 16 December 1983 (1995);
  5. World Copyright Convention of the 6th of September 1952 (1997);
  6. Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (1998);
  7. Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property of the 14th of November 1970 (1997);
  8. Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. 2 February 1971 (2001);
  9. Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms of the 29th of October 1971 (2001);
  10. The 1995 Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (UNIDROIT) (2003);
  11. Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the 17th of October 2003 (2006);
  12. International Convention against Doping in Sport of the 19th of October 2005 (2007);
  13. Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of the 20th of October 2005 (2010);
  14. Convention on the International Exchange of Publications of the 3rd of December 1958 (2020).



UNESCO Headquarters

Address: 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France

Tel: +33 1 45 68 10 00

Fax: +33 1 45 67 16 90



Permanent Representation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to UNESCO

Address: 1, rue Miollis, 75015 Paris

Tel.: + 33 1 45 68 28 77; + 33 1 45 68 28 78



National Commission of the Republic of Azerbaijan for UNESCO

Address: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan,

Baku city AZ-1009, 50, Sh. Gurbanov Street

Tel: + (99412) 596 93 22



Share this page
All rights reserved. Contact us to use any licensed material.
Privacy Policy