Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) can establish working relations with UNESCO through following modalities:
- formal cooperation agreements;
- ad hoc working arrangements;
- de facto relations.
Formal cooperation agreements are concluded with a number of IGOs that are capable of contributing quickly and effectively to the achievement of UNESCO’s objectives. Each agreement is subject to approval by the Executive Board and is in the form of a memorandum or convention signed by the Director-General and by the head of the IGO concerned. All memoranda, agreements and conventions include clauses covering:
- cooperation on joint programme matters within shared fields of competence, the establishment of joint committees for that purpose and other administrative machinery;
- mutual consultation on matters of common interest;
- mutual invitations and representation and meetings at which matters of common interest are to be discussed;
- exchange of information and documents.
In the absence of formal agreements, ad hoc working arrangements can be made between UNESCO and an IGO through an exchange of letters defining their working relationship on specific matters over a fixed period. These extremely flexible arrangements cover, as needed, one or more of the aspects mentioned above.
With many other intergovernmental organizations, UNESCO maintains de facto relations. These relations are generally limited to an exchange of information and documents on a specific matter and, in some cases, an invitation to a meeting deemed to be of joint interest.