UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It is one of the 15 legally independent United Nations specialised agencies and is based in Paris. 193 Member States are represented in UNESCO.
UNESCO was one of the first international organisations Austria joined, having become a member in 1948 (on 13 August as the 40th member), well before it joined the United Nations in 1955. This era marked a new beginning in terms of politics, economics and culture and searching for a new, positive identity. For Austria, this meant taking up an active role in international organisations and global politics, and joining UNESCO constituted the first step in this endeavour.
UNESCO’s goal is to contribute to ensuring peace and security through promoting international collaboration in education, science, culture and communication/information. This is because “a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.” (UNESCO constitution).