What are category 2 institutes and centres?
Category 2 institutes and centres under the auspices of UNESCO form an important part of UNESCO’s network and are one of the strategic partners covered by the Comprehensive Partnership Strategy of UNESCO (ref.192 EX/5.INF)They represent an effective partnership model for UNESCO’s programme delivery, significantly contributing to the Organization’s priority areas. In the field of culture, UNESCO works with more than twenty centres, which, through capacity building, knowledge-sharing and research, provide a valuable and unique contribution to the implementation of UNESCO’s strategic programme objectives for the benefit of Member States.
Category 2 institutes and centres are not legally part of the Organization, but are associated with it through formal arrangements approved by the UNESCO General Conference and are committed to engage in supporting UNESCO’s strategic programme objectives. They are funded directly by the Member States where they are located, but their scope goes beyond the boundaries of their country. Some are regional or interregional in scope while others are global; they are organized around a thematic issue. Many are involved The proposal to establish a new category 2 institute or centre under the auspices of UNESCO is made by one or several Member States.
The proposal to establish a new category 2 institute or centre under the auspices of UNESCO is made by one or several Member States. The status may be granted to an existing entity or to an institution in the process of being created. The activities of category 2 institutes and centres must be global, regional, subregional or interregional in scope, and should contribute to the achievement of the strategic programme objectives, priorities and themes of the Organization, specifically to UNESCO’s programme results at the main lines of action (MLA) level. The proposal is assessed by UNESCO to determine whether a feasibility study should be undertaken. All costs pertaining to the study and other related work shall be borne by the concerned Member State(s) or institution. The Director-General of UNESCO submits the feasibility study and a draft agreement to the Executive Board only once per biennium – at its session immediately preceding the regular session of the General Conference – for its examination. Based on the recommendation by the Executive Board, the General Conference decides on the establishment of a category 2 institute or centre and authorizes the Director-General to conclude an agreement between UNESCO and the government(s) concerned. The agreement for the establishment of an institute or centre as a category 2 institute shall be concluded for a definite time period, not exceeding six years. The agreement may be renewed subject to an evaluation of the activities of the institute or centre and of its contribution to the Organization. All costs relating to the renewal exercises shall be borne by the concerned Member State(s) or institution. The Director-General presents the results of the evaluation to the Executive Board for its decision as to whether the designation as a category 2 institute or centre under the auspices of UNESCO should be renewed or terminated. The establishment and renewal of these institutes and centres are governed in conformity with the Integrated Comprehensive Strategy on Category 2 Institutes and Centres, adopted at the thirty-seventh session of the General Conference in 2013 (ref. 37 C/Resolution 93, 37 C/18 Part I and its annex).
In order to achieve its mission and build peace and sustainable development, UNESCO relies on a diverse set of collaborative partnerships. Category 2 institutes and centres, along with other UNESCO strategic partners, play an important role in extending the reach and effectiveness of UNESCO’s programme. In the field of culture, they contribute to protecting, promoting and transmitting our heritage, as well as to fostering creativity and the diversity of cultural expressions, through capacity-building, knowledge-sharing and research.
The current framework of UNESCO’s cooperation with category 2 institutes and centres is governed by the Integrated Comprehensive Strategy for Category 2 Institutes and Centres, adopted in 2013 by the UNESCO General Conference (37 C/Resolution 93), based on the recommendations of the Executive Board (document 37C/18 Part I). It provides the Organization’s policies and guidelines concerning category 2 institutes and centres under the auspices of UNESCO, as well as specific criteria and procedures on the establishment and renewal of such institutions. Moreover, UNESCO has developed a Culture Sector strategy for category 2 institutes and centres to improve its cooperation with these institutions. Category 2 institutes and centres must submit to UNESCO a periodic report with information on the contribution of their activities to UNESCO’s strategic programme objectives and priorities as well as expected sectoral results, performed under and pursuant to the scope of the agreement signed with UNESCO.
Category 2 institutes and centres extend the reach and effectiveness of UNESCO’s programmes and activities in the field of culture. They contribute directly to the achievement of the strategic programme objectives, priorities and themes of the Organization, and specifically to UNESCO’s programme results at the main lines of action (MLA) level. They serve in their fields of specialization, in particular technical domains, as international or regional centres and poles of expertise and excellence. They provide services and technical assistance, such as policy advice, research, documentation and capacitybuilding to Member States, cooperation partners and to UNESCO’s network of field offices. In particular, they play an important role as implementing partners, helping UNESCO to achieve its strategic programme objectives. They act as resource hubs to foster regional and international collaboration, networking and synergies, as well as promoting South-South, North-South and triangular cooperation.
RAISING PUBLIC AWARENESS
Through conferences, seminars, exhibitions, festivals and fairs, category 2 institutes and centres aim to raise public awareness and foster a better appreciation of the importance of cultural heritage and diversity. Thus, they contribute to the efficient implementation of the culture conventions and/or priority programmes they are related to by generating a change in behaviour for greater involvement in heritage protection.
Category 2 institutes and centres carry out training courses and capacity-building workshops, which are vital to enhance the skills and abilities of practitioners, institutions and organizations working for the protection of cultural heritage and diversity.
Through the sharing of information at regional, national and international levels, category 2 institutes and centres enhance mutual understanding of available expertise and resources, and promote relevant programmes to a wider audience. Networking and training programmes are essential to achieve a successful dissemination of knowledge.
Regional cooperation and networks must be strengthened to enable effective mobilization of all stakeholders and opportunities. The creation of a global network enables the implementation of joint activities in collaboration with partners and target groups, and encourages the flow of information between category 2 institutions related to the field of culture.
Category 2 institutes and centres carry out various research projects and activities that seek to contribute to the development of a knowledge base and expertise, and generate credible data and statistics in their particular field of specialization. Through research programmes, category 2 institutes and centres also foster the exchange of ideas and the communication of best practices to stakeholders and civil society.
Category 2 institutes and centres are selected based on their specialization in one of UNESCO’s fields of competence related to culture. They can serve as international or regional poles of expertise and excellence in their respective sphere of specialization, and hence represent a valuable resource for the UNESCO Culture Sector.