UNESCO Committees of which the Netherlands is a member

The job of the General Conference is to establish specific or technical committees and other supporting bodies for the execution of UNESCO’s policy. All these committees and bodies are responsible for a certain UNESCO programme; they are involved in the process of policy making and they guarantee the implementation of the programme. There are certain general rules the committees must obey: geographic divisions and the principle of rotation. Member states from various parts of the world are elected for four years in one or more of these committees. Normally, these bodies meet twice yearly.

The Netherlands is actively involved in UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP). This scientific programme focusses on addressing global water challenges. During the IHP Council in June 2021, the ninth phase of the programme (2022-2029) has been approved. Priority topics are, for example, education and institutional capacity building, transboundary water management, citizen science and bridging data-knowledge gaps. The Dutch contribution to this programme is coordinated by the National IHP-HWRP Committee, an advisory committee with high-level representatives from science and policy. An important contribution to the IHP is the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. This institute is financed by the Netherlands and is an official UNESCO Category 2 Centre. It welcomes water experts and students from around the world for training and capacity building purposes.

Associated with the IHP is the International Commission for the Hydrology of the Rhine basin (CHR). All riparian countries of the Rhine are members, and they jointly carry out hydrological research. The Netherlands is also member of the board. In October 2021, the CHR will celebrate its 50 Years Jubilee Conference.