5 Years Associate Membership Curaçao to UNESCO
Curaçao became the 7th Associate Member of UNESCO on 25 October 2011
The Netherlands Antilles became the first Associate Member of UNESCO on 26 October 1983, by making use of the UNESCO Constitution Article II Membership point 3. This states that: “Territories or groups of territories which are not responsible for the conduct of their international relations may be admitted as Associate Members by the General Conference by a two-thirds majority of Members present and voting, upon application made on behalf of such territory or group of territories by the Member or other authority having responsibility for their international relations. The nature and extent of the rights and obligations of Associate Members shall be determined by the General Conference.” In this case the Netherlands, Member of UNESCO, made the application for Curaçao.
On Sunday 10 October 2010, a new status of the Netherlands Antilles came into effect within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, by which the country-status Dutch: land of the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist. Under the new status, Curaçao and Sint Maarten became countries (enjoying internal self-government within the Kingdom), joining Aruba, which gained similar status in 1986. Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba have become part of the country “the Netherlands”. The Netherlands retains responsibility for e.g. defence and foreign policy. From this date forward 10 October 2010 the Kingdom consists of four parts: the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten and enjoy internal self-government within the Kingdom, as Aruba. These changes constitute a modification of the internal constitutional relations within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Kingdom of the Netherlands will accordingly remain the subject of international law with which agreements are concluded. The modification of the structure of the Kingdom will therefore not affect the validity of the international agreements, ratified by the Kingdom for the Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles: these agreements, including any reservations made, will continue to apply to Curaçao and St. Maarten.
After following the same procedure as mentioned above, on October 25, 2011 Curaçao joined the UNESCO family as the 7th Associate Member. Its membership was received by acclamation from the General Assembly during the 36th General Conference of UNESCO Paris, France. In order to celebrate this joyous event the National Commission published a booklet with highlights of the activities of the UNESCO on Curacao and participation at capacity building training, workshops, conference and more abroad over the period 2011 2016. The booklet was officially handed over tho the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport. Recipients in the past of funding from the Participation Programme held presentations and explained the spin off effect of their projects in the community.
The Curaçao National Commission for UNESCO (Curaçao NatCom)
Curaçao now as Associate Member of UNESCO established its own National Commission as required by UNESCO. This was done in March of 2012.UNESCO numbers 195 Member States and 10 Associate Member States (2015). For the execution of UNESCO’s programmes they are divided into five geographical regions, namely Africa; the Arab States; Asia & the Pacific, Europe & North America and Latin America & the Caribbean. Curaçao pertains to the Latin America and Caribbean Region.
UNESCO is the only organization in the UN system that has National Commissions as its contact body. The main task of these commissions is to involve as many organizations as possible operative in their countries within UNESCO’s fields of competence. Each National Commission for UNESCO is presided over by a chairperson. The Secretary General functions as liaison between the UNESCO Headquarters and the National Commission and is in charge of the secretariat of the National Commission.
The Curaçao National Commission for UNESCO (Curaçao NatCom) makes known the programmes of UNESCO in the country and involves Civil Society, NGOs, Ministries, Schools and Youth in the advancement of UNESCO’s mandate in the country. The NatCom also executes and promotes the UNESCO vision by promoting its programmes in the working fields of Education, Sciences (Social & Human, Natural), Culture, Communication and Information.