Category 2 institutes and centres under the auspices of UNESCO are a global network of institutions of excellence in the Organization’s domains of competence. Given their expertise, these institutes and centres contribute to the implementation of UNESCO’s strategic priorities, programmes, and global development agendas, through international and regional cooperation, research, knowledge production, policy advice, and capacity development.
Though independent of UNESCO, category 2 institutes and centres are a privileged partner of the Organization with access to UNESCO’s logo and international and intergovernmental bodies and networks, and may leverage UNESCO’s international reach and convening powers. Category 2 institutes and centres under the auspices of UNESCO are an integral part of the Organization’s Comprehensive Partnership Strategy.
List of Category 2 Institutes and Centres (C2Cs) by UNESCO fields of competence:
- Natural Sciences
- Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
- Social and Human Sciences
- Communication and Information
- Other, Cross-cutting
At its 40th session (November 2019) UNESCO’s General Conference adopted 40 C/Resolution 99 by which it approved a new “Strategy for Category 2 Institutes and Centres under the auspices of UNESCO”, also referred to as the “2019 Strategy” (document 40 C/79), which supersedes all relevant prior resolutions by the General Conference on the subject.
Some new features in the 2019 Strategy include:
- Eligibility of proposals: Only existing institutions with their own legal personality and a proven track record of excellence of at least two years in UNESCO’s fields of competence may be proposed for C2C status. The activities of category 2 institutes and centres must be international or regional in scope and shall contribute to the global development agendas.
- Timeframe for submission: Proposals for the establishment of new C2Cs may only be submitted to UNESCO by 31 March of the first year of the UNESCO C/5 biennium. Feasibility studies for the establishment of new C2Cs must be completed by 15 March of the second year of the C/5 biennium.
- Agreement and entry into force: A tripartite agreement should be concluded between UNESCO, the Member State(s) concerned and the institution. Alternatively, depending on the legal requirements of Member States, two bipartite agreements can be concluded. The date of the entry into force of the agreement shall be the date of the signature of the agreement, or alternatively, after an exchange of letters formally notifying that all legal requirements have been fulfilled for the functioning of the Centre. The standard duration of agreements for C2Cs is eight years.
- Yearly Financial obligations: New Category 2 Centres (or the Member State(s) concerned) shall contribute US$ 1,000 annually to the relevant programme sector to help cover costs incurred by UNESCO in administering and monitoring the C2Cs programme. C2Cs located in least developed countries (LDCs) are exempt from making this contribution.
- Yearly reporting obligations: All C2Cs must submit by 31 December of each year an annual report on their activities, using the standard reporting format (available on the right, under “Documents”)
All relevant documents, guidelines and templates are accessible via the hyperlinks provided on the right-hand side of this page. The templates are provided in pdf format, only for information.
Transitional provisions for the renewal of existing C2Cs:
In order to enhance the alignment of existing and operational category 2 institutes and centres to the 2019 Strategy and vision, the following principles will apply:
- C2Cs whose renewal processes have started prior to the decision of the 40th session of the General Conference on the 2019 Strategy will have their agreements renewed according to the 2013 Strategy.
- C2Cs whose renewal process is launched after the 40th session of the General Conference will have their agreements renewed in accordance with the 2019 Strategy, as adopted by the General Conference.
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