Category 2 Institutes and Centres under the auspices of UNESCO form an important part of UNESCO’s network and as a general rule represent an effective partnership model for UNESCO’s programme delivery, significantly contributing to the Organization’s priority areas. In the field of culture, UNESCO works with some 20 such centres, who, through capacity-building, knowledge sharing and research, provide a valuable and unique contribution to the implementation of UNESCO’s strategic programme objectives for the benefits of Member States.
The establishment and renewals of these Centres and Institutes are governed in conformity with the new integrated comprehensive strategy on Category 2 Institutes and Centres, adopted at the 37th session of the General Conference in 2013.
Category 2 Institutes and Centres are not legally part of the Organization, but are associated with it through formal arrangements approved by the General Conference and are committed to engage in supporting UNESCO's strategic programme objectives. They are funded directly by Member States where they are located, but their scope goes beyond the boundaries of their country. Some are regional in scope while others cover more than one region or are organized around a thematic issue. Many are involved in capacity building and research, while some are set up as foundations or funds to support activities carried out by other organizations.