Flanders - Unesco Trust Fund

Flanders is one of the few regions in the world that has actually signed a cooperation agreement with UNESCO. This cooperation agreement has been the materialization of the unique ties between the Government of Flanders and UNESCO.

Signing this agreement in 1998 has been a very deliberate choice for us, because we feel that UNESCO’s mission is also our mission. Education, Science, Culture and Communication lie at the heart of UNESCO’s mandate, but they are also policy fields in which the Government of Flanders has extensive or exclusive competences. Being competent for these matters does not only create opportunities, but also entails responsibilities. Flanders takes its social responsibility to tackle global challenges seriously and optimizes its means through a focused approach in order to generate maximum impact. Since the competences of both parties coincided, working with UNESCO was a logical step in Flanders’ pursuit to contribute to international development goals.

This cooperation agreement aims at a real partnership between both parties: UNESCO can count on Flemish expertise, financial means and networks, while the Flemish Government can call on UNESCO’s network, advice and know-how. To streamline this cooperation, Flanders created two Trust Funds: the Scientific Trust Fund (FUST) and the General Trust Fund with a focus on heritage and Africa.

In today’s world, water is increasingly becoming a source of possible conflict. The Flemish expertise in water management provides a valuable contribution to tackle climate change through our UNESCO Scientific Trust Fund. By means of the Trust Fund on heritage, we contribute to culture preservation and socioeconomic benefits for Africa, to marine biodiversity and ocean conservation, and to living World Heritage cities.

The current web site highlights the specific achievements of our cooperation under the general Trust Fund over the last years. These initiatives are all examples of how Flanders made a substantial contribution to UNESCO’s goals: achieving peace and freedom throughout the world as a result of promoting cooperation between countries.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those parties that, over the years, were involved in the projects financed by the general Trust Fund and we are looking forward to a continued and successful cooperation between Flanders and UNESCO in the future. We are convinced that this website will offer a great overview of the Trust Fund projects and that it may highlight their value for local communities worldwide.


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