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UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is an organisation within the United Nations whose purposes is declared by its constitution to be: "to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations."[1]

Founded in 1945 and headquartered in Paris (albeit with several offices throughout the world), UNESCO is governed by three entities: a General Conference (a gathering of 192 member states and 6 "associated members", in which each state holds one vote, meeting every other year), an Executive Board (58 members elected by the General Conference for staggered four-year terms, meeting twice a year), and a Secretariat (consisting of the Director General - currently the Japanese Koichiro Matsuura - and his staff).