Cookies on the DFA website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site while also complying with Data Protection requirements. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.

Ireland and UNESCO

Ambassador Nolan presents credentials UNESCO

The United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was created in November 1945 in the aftermath of the Second World War. There were 37 original founders. Today the Organisation comprises 195 Member States and 10 Associate Members.

Perhaps best known for its work in designating and protecting World Heritage Sites - of which there are three on the island of Ireland - the Organisation was originally conceived to promote peace through international cooperation in education. Today, UNESCO builds on that mission in tackling some of the most pressing global policy challenges from a cultural and scientific perspective.

UNESCO is committed to 5 main objectives:

  • Attaining quality education and lifelong learning for all
  • Mobilising science knowledge and policy for sustainable development
  • Addressing emerging social and ethical challenges
  • Fostering cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace
  • Building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication

Key facts about Ireland and UNESCO

This page lists the UNESCO Conventions ratified by Ireland over the last fifty years. It provides an overview of World Heritage Sites and other ecological projects in Ireland.

  • Membership of UNESCO: 3 October 1961
  • Irish National Commission: Department of Education and Skills
  • World Heritage Sites on the island of Ireland:
    • Brú na Bóinne (1993)
    • Sceilg Mhicíl (1996)
    • Giant’s Causeway and the Causeway Coast (1986)
  • Memory of the World Register:  Book of Kells (inscribed in 2011)
  • Geoparks:
    • The Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark (cross-border counties Fermanagh and Cavan)
    • Copper Coast Global Geopark
    • Burren and Cliffs of Moher Global Geopark
  • Biosphere Reserves: 2 sites
    • Dublin Bay(1981)
    • Kerry (1982)

Important UNESCO links