“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”


Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO will contribute to the building of peace, sustainable development, and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and informationby participating in the activities of UNESCO which aim to: advance the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples; promote culture and its preservation; uphold democracy through the sharing of ideas and knowledge; support freedom of thought, expression and communication; uphold justice and equality for all; advocate tolerance; support access to education and information.


Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO will provide expert analysis and policy advice on United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) matters to the St. Maarten Government; contribute to the development and implementation of programs in support of UNESCO priorities; and promote and publicize UNESCO’s objectives and programmes.   Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO will advance St. Maarten’s priorities and interests as a UNESCO Associate Member State, and fulfill its function in accordance with Article VII of the Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Charter of National Commissions for UNESCO adopted by the UNESCO General Conference at its 20th session, and other relevant decisions of the General Conference and the UNESCO Executive Board. 

 Role and Functions of National Commission  

A National Commission (NatCom) is a unique feature of the United Nations system. It operates as a national agency set up by Member States / Associate members of UNESCO to advance the mandate of the international organization that is UNESCO.  The primary role the NatCom is to serve as a liaison between UNESCO and its Member States / Associate members. Moreover, the National Commission facilitates the greater involvement of Member States / Associate members in the work of the organization, and is involved in the formulation, execution and evaluation of UNESCO’s programmes, while mobilizing resources to meet the development needs of individual Member States / Associate members.   The National Commission will act as a first point of contact for UNESCO issues within St. Maarten.  To fulfill its function, the St. Maarten National Commission will bring together St. Maarten Government departments, agencies and experts from the community to assist in the development of policies on UNESCO matters, including briefing for St. Maarten delegations to UNESCO General Conferences. 

 Core Tasks of National Commission  

Sint Maarten National Commission for UNESCO will execute the following tasks:

Advisory function
  • Advise government on issues relevant to UNESCO’s objectives;
  • Advise government on the country’s overall relation with UNESCO
    • E.g. participation in the Executive Board, General Conference and other meetings convened by UNESCO;
  • Advise government on ways of conversing with UNESCO
    • E.g. based on the UNESCO’s procedures, principles, regulations

Liaison and outreach function
  • Liaison between government, UNESCO, the permanent delegation, civil society, and UNESCO related UN agencies & regional organizations;
  • Foster the linkage with and involvement in UNESCO’s activities of the relevant ministries of government, civil society, and individuals in order to obtain intellectual and professional input useful to the organization, encouraging interdisciplinary dialogue and cooperation in the process;
  • Help to forge new partnerships with civil society organizations – grass-roots and volunteer groups, NGOs, the academic and professional communities, the private sector and others to promote UNESCO’s various networks and programmes;
  • Encourage government, civil society organizations, and individuals to propose candidates for UNESCO prizes, vacant posts at UNESCO, UNESCO fellowships, and internships.

Implementation function
  • Contribution to UNESCO’s planning / programming processes:
    • Conduct timely consultations with relevant ministries of government and other stakeholders in order to identify and develop national priorities and strategies for cooperation with UNESCO;
    • Participate in consultations, and cooperate with UNESCO Field Offices and other National Commissions at the sub-regional, regional, and interregional levels;
  • Coordinate national responses to UNESCO-conducted surveys, questionnaires, and reports on the implementation of UNESCO’s standard-setting instruments;
  • Submit Participation Programme requests to UNESCO every biennium; evaluate their implementation and report back thereon to the Organization; provide information on programme execution;
  • Undertake activities in line with the general objectives of UNESCO;
  • Assume responsibility for the proper use of the Organization’s name and emblem.

Information and advocacy function
  • Promote UNESCO’s ideals and disseminate information on the Organization’s activities and achievements, in order to strengthen UNESCO’s impact in the community;
  • Work actively with the media in order to bring the above to the attention of the public at large. 

 Role of the Workgroup Members

Workgroups comprise of highly competent persons drawn from various governmental and non-governmental agencies, as well as individuals in their personal capacity, whose expertise is critical to the successful implementation of the programmes and activities of UNESCO Members States/ Associate members. The following workgroups have currently been established:

  • Education workgroup;
  • Culture workgroup;
  • Science and Technology workgroup;
  • Communication and Information.

  The members of the workgroup are responsible for the overall planning and executing of the activities of the National Commission. They play a vital role in the implementation of the National Commission’s work-plan. The main responsibilities of the workgroup members are as follows:

  • To assist the Secretary General to disseminate information about UNESCO’s activities in the sector of their specialization, i.e. education, science, culture and communication;
  • To ascertain the priority needs of the country in their respective sectors and assist in preparing the prioritising projects to be submitted to UNESCO for funding, under its Regular and Participation Programmes;
  • To assist, if necessary, in monitoring the successful implementation of projects granted funding;
  • To report on the work of the plenary of the National Commission;
  • To perform such other duties as may be required by the National Commission