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UNESCO in Montenegro

As a specialized agency of the United Nations, UNESCO contributes to the promotion of peace, human development and intercultural dialogue through education, sciences, culture, communication and information. 
On 1 March 2007, Montenegro became the 192nd Member State of UNESCO. UNESCO’s activities in Montenegro are coordinated by its Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, based in Venice, Italy and in cooperation with the country’s National Commission for UNESCO, based in the Ministry of Culture. During this time, UNESCO has placed priority on activities related to climate change, biodiversity, risk preparedness, cultural heritage, and the management of biosphere reserves. 

Among UNESCO’s achievements in Montenegro so far are the organization of a high-level Round Table on Science, Higher Education and Innovation Policy, held in Budva in 2008, and the arrangement of the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe, held in Cetinje in 2010. UNESCO also has actively supported initiatives on climate change and its impact in Montenegro, and promoted Montenegrin art and architecture at the  Venice Biennale.

Through the UN Joint Programme “Improving the Business Environment through Green Jobs and Institution Building”, implemented in cooperation with UNDP, UNEP, FAO, and UNIDO, UNESCO moreover promotes sustainable economic development with a focus on small and medium enterprises. It also has supported Montenegro in planning and administrating two World Heritage Sites: The medieval town of Kotor and the Durmitor National Park.

Along its five areas of competence – education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information – UNESCO has identified a range of future priorities: 
  1. To support Montenegro in adapting to EU standards of science and higher education, making education available to all, and promoting life-long learning. It further seeks to enhance science and technology governance and to promote capacity building, scientific innovation, and technological progress.
  2. To support the sustainable management of ecosystems, freshwater, terrestrial resources, and biodiversity. Here UNESCO will continue its commitments to the Tara River Basin Biosphere Reserve.
  3. To support the development of a National Youth Policy that gives young citizens opportunities for representation and participation, and to promote ethical norms and practices of environmental and economic development.
  4. To enhance capacities for the management, safeguarding, and promotion of cultural heritage and cultural diversity as tools for dialogue, sustainable development, welfare, and prosperity. Concrete activities include the preparation of a management plan for the historical center of Cetinje and the promotion of Montenegrin museums and art collections.
  5. To sustain the development of independent and pluralistic national media.

UNESCO also takes part in the Integrated UN Programme for Montenegro, which fosters inter-Agency cooperation and synergies. The Joint Programme “Improving the Business Environment through Green Jobs and Institution Building”, under the SEDEP pillar of the Integrated UN Programme for Montenegro, equally links economic development to environmental protection and sustainable tourism.

To add force to its commitments in Montenegro, UNESCO has established a project antenna office in Podgorica in 2010, which ensures the timely implementation of the Joint Programme and facilitates UNESCO’s participation in UNCT activities.