When people attribute a position or action to UNESCO, they rarely specify to which of its many parts they refer. UNESCO is a nation-state based organization located in Paris, advised by hundreds of affiliated NGOs, with many national and regional centers and institutions and national commissions in many nations. Even when its member nation-states sign its conventions, their national cultural policies can vary widely in how the conventions are implemented. The complexity of UNESCO’s organization suggests that discussions of policies attributed to it must be grounded in an understanding of its structure and the relative autonomy, or lack of it, among its various parts. This essay presents such a description of UNESCO from the perspective of an international NGO, the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) and makes observations about the involvement of different parts of UNESCO in the discussions of on-the-ground events described in the other chapters.


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pp. 269-280
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