The Organization has 195 Members and 9 Associate Members.
Membership of UNESCO is governed by Articles II and XV of the Constitution and by rules 98 to 101 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Conference (see Basic Texts). Membership of the United Nations carries with it the right to membership of UNESCO. States that are not members of United Nations may be admitted to UNESCO, upon recommendation of the Executive Board, by a two-thirds majority vote of the General Conference.
Territories or groups of territories that are not responsible for the conduct of their international relations may be admitted as Associate Members. Their admission and their rights and obligations are determined by the General Conference (see 6C/Resolution 41.2 and Basic Texts).
Most Member States have established Permanent Delegations to UNESCO which, headed by Ambassadors, undertake liaison between the Organization and their governments.
All Member States have established a National Commission for UNESCO. The UNESCO National Commissions are national cooperating bodies set up by the Member States for the purpose of associating their governmental and non-governmental bodies with the work of the Organization.
Member States and Associate Members designate one or several Ministries responsible for relations with UNESCO and/or Ministries in UNESCO's fields of competence.
UNESCO emphasizes its efforts to involve nationally (Parliamentarians) and locally elected representatives (Cities and Local Authorities) in its action.
The Sector for External Relations and Public Information (ERI) and the Africa Department (AFR) ensure liaison with Member States. While AFR covers the Member States from the Africa region, ERI is responsible for relations with the Member States from the four other regions and with Associate Members.
Relations with Member States are also ensured by the Directors and Heads of the UNESCO Regional, Cluster and National Offices.