On November 16 UNESCO, the United Nations specialized agency in the field of education, science and culture, the most representative international organization that unites 195 member-states, including Ukraine, marks its 73rd anniversary.
Since 1954, when our state joined UNESCO, Ukraine has actively participated in its activities. Ukraine initiated various international programs and projects. For four times our country was elected to the governing body of the Organization – the Executive Board.
Seven Ukrainian sites are inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List, among them: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv, the Ensemble of the Historic Centre of L'viv as well as Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora, Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region, The Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans, Struve Geodetic Arc, Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of Carpathians.
This year Ukrainian decorative ornamental painting – Petrykivka marks the fifth anniversary of including into the Representative List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In 2016 the Cossack’s songs of Dnipropetrovsk Region were inscribed into the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.
UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network, which consists of 78 elementary, secondary and vocational schools, operates in Ukraine. Our state also actively participates in UNESCO's UNITWIN program, which provides opportunities for international scientific cooperation of UNESCO chairs, which operate in 10 Ukrainian higher education institutions. In 2017 the center of the category 2 under the auspices of UNESCO was established in Ukraine at the Junior Academy of Sciences, which promotes the popularization of science among Ukrainian youth.
This year the 100th anniversary of the outstanding Ukrainian teacher Vasyl Sukhomlynskyi as well as the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine are celebrated at the international level. Both dates are included into the UNESCO Memorable Dates Calendar established to commemorate events and anniversaries of worldwide significance in the fields of education, science and culture.
Under the conditions of the illegal occupation by Russia of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, the main priority of Ukraine in UNESCO today is to use every opportunity to raise awareness of the international community to the pressing problems in the temporarily occupied peninsula. Upon the initiative of Ukraine, the Executive Board has already adopted ten consecutive decisions “Follow-up of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukraine)”. Given numerous violations by the occupying authorities of the educational and cultural rights of the Crimean people, first of all, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, as well as Ukrainian legislation and international norms on the protection of cultural property and heritage in Crimea, in October 2018 the UNESCO Secretariat announced the introduction of the first phase of direct monitoring activities of the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol within the competence of the Organization.
Ukraine will continue to cooperate fruitfully with UNESCO to achieve a common goal - the development of education, science and culture in the world.