UNESCO is an organisation with global scope: it is a United Nations agency for education, science, and culture with its headquarters in Paris. UNESCO Chairs Programme fosters international cooperation between universities and boosts networking in key areas that address global challenges, generating, therefore, innovative research and establishing new teaching initiatives.
UNESCO Chairs have been established all over the world since the launch of the programme in 1992. They aim to enhance higher education and scientific research through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. They promote international institutional cooperation with an agenda of wider social impact. The networks of UNESCO Chairs serve as thinktanks that inform policy decisions, enrich existing university programmes, and generate innovative research while promoting cultural diversity and UN sustainable development goals.
UNESCO Chairs in the field of intangible cultural heritage have a vital role to play in the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Currently, thirteen UNESCO Chairs have been established in the field of intangible cultural heritage. The whole network of UNESCO Chairs counts more than 900 members from 114 countries.
UNESCO Chairs in the field of intangible cultural heritage:
- Belgium UNESCO Chair on Critical Heritage Studies and Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2014), Vrije Universiteit Brussel
- Azerbaijan UNESCO 'Ashiq Shamshir' Chair on Folk Music Heritage and Storytelling Traditions (2020), Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences Institute of Folklore
- Gabon Bantuphonie: Langues en danger, Savoirs endogènes et Biodiversité (2018), Université Omar Bongo
- Estonia UNESCO Chair on Applied Studies of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2019), Tartu University
- Italy UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Comparative Law (2019), University of Rome Unitelma Sapienza
- Canada Chaire UNESCO en transmission culturelle chez les Premiers peuples comme une dynamique de mieux-être et d’empowerment (2018), Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
- Latvia UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage Policy and Law (2017), The Latvian Academy of Culture
- Mexico UNESCO Chair in Research on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Cultural Diversity (2011), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
- Portugal UNESCO Chair in Intangible Heritage and Traditional Know-How: Linking Heritage (2013), University of Évora
- France Chaire UNESCO Patrimoine culturel immatériel et développement durable (2021), Université de Cergy-Pontoise
- Germany UNESCO Chair on Transcultural Music Studies (2016), University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar
- Turkey UNESCO Chair on Intangible Cultural Heritage in Formal and Informal Education (2017), Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli Üniversitesi
- Uruguay UNESCO Chair in Carnival and Heritage (2012), Universidad de la República