UNESCO owes the greater part of its voluntary contributions to bilateral government donors who provide support to priority programme areas, individual projects and the Organization’s specialized institutes.
Contributions negotiated through well-established framework agreements (Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Flanders (Belgium), France) and funds-in-trust have remained relatively stable despite the recent financial crises. Over and above the relationship that exists between the UNESCO Secretariat and these Member States, the standing agreements underpin a special partnership between UNESCO and these governments.
This partnership is further characterized by joint mechanisms for planning, reviewing and monitoring collaboration. Sometimes the agreements cover several programme areas, like those held with some Nordic countries and Spain. Other agreements are specific to a single programme area like the support from Japan, the Netherlands and France for culture heritage, or Saudi Arabia’s contribution for a culture of peace and dialogue programme.
Increasingly, UNESCO is also developing its role as implementation partner to bilateral government donors in programmes developed by these donors with specific beneficiary countries or sub-regions, and expanding its cooperation with emerging donors and Middle Income countries.