NATIONAL COMMISSIONS FOR UNESCO
The National Commissions for UNESCO of 195 UNESCO Member States are national cooperating bodies set up by the Member States in accordance with Article VII of UNESCO's constitution for the purpose of associating their governmental and non-governmental institutions with the work of the Organization.
There is a close cooperation among the Baltic States' National Commissions for UNESCO as well as other Commissions of neighboring countries, such as Poland, Belarus, the Caucasus and Nordic Countries in the fields of bioethics, culture, ASPnet partnership, tangible and intangible heritage protection and management, etc.
Estonia joined UNESCO on 14 October 1991 and the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO was established by the order of Estonian Government on 17 August 1992. In 1999 Estonian National Commission was reorganized into a foundation. Estonian National Commission for UNESCO serves as a liaison and coordination unit between UNESCO and national institutions and organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, as well as private persons connected with UNESCOs work.
Since 2007 the structure of Estonian National Commission for UNESCO includes a 7-member Supervisory Board that brings together representatives of different ministries and National Heritage Board to supervise the management of the Foundation and a broad-based 20-member Advisory Committee to offer expert advice to the Supervisory Board and to the Secretariat in the matters concerning the fields of activities of UNESCO. The Chairperson of the National Commission is Prof Dr Kristin Kuutma. The 3-member secretariat is headed by Secretary General Marika Valk (www.unesco.ee).
Latvia became a member state of UNESCO on October 14, 1991. The Latvian National Commission for UNESCO subsequently was established in 1992. Upon its Constitution, adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers in 1994, it is composed of 17 members bringing together both governmental and non-governmental institutions. The daily work of the National Commission is organised by the Secretariat. Current President of the Latvian National Commission is Mr Andris Vilks, the director of the Latvian National Library. The Secretary General is Ms Dagnija Baltina.
Since its establishment Latvian National Commission for UNESCO has been successfully serving as an element uniting UNESCO as a global organisation and the society in Latvia in the fields of education, science, culture, communications and information. As an independent institution by active involvement National Commission coordinates the implementation of UNESCO programmes on national level in Latvia as well as promotes participation and contribution of Latvia in global initiatives and actions worldwide. Assisting in policy-advice National Commission has been integral for enhancing intellectual capacity of Latvian experts and specialists and encouraging interdisciplinarity and intersectoral cooperation in Latvia (www.unesco.lv).
Lithuania joined UNESCO on 7 October 1991 and the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO was established on 20 October 1992. The Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO is composed of 25 members, representing Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas), Ministries, having got direct activities in the fields of UNESCO, governmental and non-governmental institutions, national organizations. General Conference of the Commission is held once a year. The Chairman of the National Commission is prof. Romas Pakalnis, deputy director at State Service for Protected Areas. Secretary General is Ms Marija Drėmaitė.
The Lithuanian National Commission's decisions are carried out by the Secretariat of the National Commission. The Secretariat is fruitfully engaged to implement UNESCO ideas, programmes and projects in Lithuania and is ready to fulfill cooperation among the National Commissions in the fields of culture, science, information/communication, arts exhibition, publishing of books, school children Summer Schools, international conferences, workshops and other (www.unesco.lt).