UNESCO was founded in November 16th, 1945, right after the end of World War II.
It was necessary to prevent a new war tragedy to happen again and UNESCO was equipped with peaceful and intelligent “weapons”: education science and culture.
It is one of the specialised agencies of the UN – United Nations Organization and has currently 195 Member States and it is the only one with mandate in terms of culture.
Portugal joined UNESCO on September, 11th 1974 following the April Revolution and the establishment of democracy.
For decades, UNESCO advocated the cultural diversity of the planet and the respect for the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of humanity and fought against racism. It keeps programs for the eradication of illiteracy and the universal access to education, the preservation of the environment and the planet’s natural heritage, for the equality of gender and the defence of human rights.
UNESCO developed various legal international instruments, such as the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), Convention for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001), Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of the Cultural Expressions (2005) among others.
The ratification of the Conventions binds the Member States both at political and legal levels.
The “Mediterranean Diet” was recognised and included in the World Heritage List within the scope of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage ratified by Portugal in 2008.