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12 May. 2023

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Ukraine in UNESCO: the history of accession and the World Heritage List

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Ukraine in UNESCO: the history of accession and the World Heritage List

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization protects sites around the world. Ukraine became a member of the organization 69 years ago. Here's a look at which monuments in Ukraine are under UNESCO protection and which famous Ukrainians have a special status with the organization

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On May 12, 1954, Ukraine became a member of UNESCO (from the English United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) - a specialized organization that works within the UN and takes care of international cooperation in the fields of culture, science, education, development of monuments and their protection.

How does Ukraine cooperate with UNESCO? But what sights in Ukraine have the organization taken under its protection? Read our article.


Ukraine and UNESCO: history of cooperation


Currently, UNESCO is a member of 193 countries in the world. During the period of its membership, Ukraine was elected four times to the executive body of the Organization - the Executive Council. As a member of the organization, Ukraine annually pays a statutory contribution to its budget - approximately $200,000.

During the period of membership, our state signed about 15 international conventions adopted by UNESCO, among them - the convention on copyright, on the protection of cultural values in case of armed conflict, on the fight against discrimination in the field of education, on the protection of underwater cultural heritage, etc.

Ukraine initiated and took part in the development of many important UNESCO programs and companies, in particular: "Culture of Peace Program"; appeal to the UN regarding the celebration of the International Year of Protection, Preservation and Revival of Cultural Heritage; deployment of an international campaign to eradicate illiteracy; monitoring of the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea in the sphere of competence of UNESCO. The Ukrainian initiative on the use of mass media for the purpose of strengthening peace, preventing the promotion of war, violence and hatred between peoples gave impetus to the development and adoption in 1978 of the Declaration on Races and Racial Prejudice.

Also, within the framework of cooperation with UNESCO Ukraine, 82 schools were opened in different regions of the country, which participate in many international projects and develop young people, 11 specialized departments at universities and more than 50 UNESCO clubs.


Sights in Ukraine protected by UNESCO


The list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites is a ready-made guide to the world. In order to be included in the list of attractions, they undergo strict control, they are selected according to many criteria. This is a certain guarantee that this place is worth visiting.

7 cultural and architectural monuments and 1 natural object have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in Ukraine:

• Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra and adjacent monastic buildings (since 1990);

• Ensemble of the historical center of the city of Lviv (since 1998);

• Geodetic "Duga Struve" (since 2005);

• "Residence of the Metropolitans of Dalmatia and Bukovina" (now - Chernivtsi National University named after Yuriy Fedkovich) (since 2011);

• The ancient city of Chersonese Tavri and its choir (since 2013);

• Wooden churches of the Carpathian region of Ukraine and Poland, joint Ukrainian-Polish nomination (since 2013);

• The historical center of Odessa (from 2023);

• Natural object - "Primitive beech forests and ancient forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe" (since 2011).


Read more about each UNESCO monument in Ukraine at the link.




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List of intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO in Ukraine


In addition to cultural and architectural monuments and natural objects, UNESCO also protects intangible heritage. This is a separate representative list that includes:

• Petrykiv painting is a phenomenon of Ukrainian decorative and ornamental painting (since 2013);

• The tradition of Kosiv painted ceramics (since 2019);

• Ornek is a Crimean Tatar ornament (since 2021).


The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Immediate Protection includes:

• Cossack songs of the Dnipropetrovsk region (since 2016) – the phenomenon of performing steppe songs (Ukrainian Cossack songs) in the Dnipropetrovsk region;

• The culture of making Ukrainian borscht (from 2022).


Protection of nature reserves


Also, nine Ukrainian biosphere reserves are included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of the UNESCO program "Man and the Biosphere": "Black Sea" (1984); "Ascania-Nova" (1985); "Carpathian" (1992); cross-border Romanian-Ukrainian biosphere reserve "Danube Delta" (1998), Polish-Slovak-Ukrainian biosphere reserve "Eastern Carpathians" (1998); "Desnyanskyi" (2009) and the transboundary Ukrainian-Belarusian-Polish biosphere reserve "Zakhidne Polissya" (2012) and the Polish-Ukrainian transboundary biosphere reserve "Roztochchia"; (2019).


Ukrainian cities are UNESCO members


Six Ukrainian cities are members of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities: Melitopol, Nikopol, Novoyavorivsk, Kyiv, Netishyn, Poltava.

Lviv and Odesa are members of the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities and Cities of Literature.

Kharkiv was included in the Network of creative cities in the field of music in 2021.


Famous Ukrainians who have a special status in UNESCO


Also, four famous Ukrainians have honorary titles and special statuses of UNESCO:

"UNESCO Artist for Peace" is the People's Artist of Ukraine Herman Makarenko - cultural figures receive the honorary title for their contribution to drawing public attention to the problems of peace, justice, tolerance, the situation of children in difficult situations, the fight against illiteracy and the preservation of the environment.

The UNESCO sports champions are the 35-time pole vault world record holder Serhiy Bubka and the world heavyweight boxing champions Vitaliy and Volodymyr Klitschko.


Ukraine closely cooperates with UNESCO, during the 69 years of membership in the organization it was possible to achieve significant successes, preserve cultural monuments and give them a new impetus for development.


We remind you! Earlier, we wrote that the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy had issued a decree expanding the National List of Elements of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Ukraine. Previously, the list consisted of 68 elements, but on May 4, five more traditions were added to it. For more details, follow the link.



Photo: Adobe Stock




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