UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. It was founded in the autumn of 1945. Sweden is a member of UNESCO since 1950.


Since wars begin in the minds of men and women, it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace must be constructed.

UNESCO Constitution


UNESCO aims to promote peace and security through the promotion of international cooperation in education, science and culture with a view to promoting, on the basis of the UN Constitution, the universal respect for justice, the rule of law and human rights, as well as fundamental freedom without racial discrimination, gender, language or religion.

UNESCO has several conventions (a convention is a form of agreement). All countries that sign a convention are obliged to follow what is written in it. The countries are also obliged to report regularly to UNESCO on their work with the conventions.

One of the conventions is “The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage”.

This convention was adopted by UNESCO in 2003, Sweden ratified in 2011. In May 2018, 178 counties had ratified it. The responsibility for the implementation of the convention in Sweden lies with the authority, Institute for Language and Folklore.


The purposes of this convention are to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage for next generations to come, to ensure respect, raise awareness at the local, national and international levels of the importance of the intangible cultural heritage, and to provide for international cooperation and assistance.


The Land of Legends on the national list

Once a state has acceded to the convention, it must compile a list of domestic intangible cultural heritage. In 2015, the Land of Legends’s and the Storytelling Network of Kronoberg’s work with oral narration was taken up, partly as a cultural heritage in itself but also as a good methodical example, so double up!


International lists:

At an international level, the convention has a system of different lists:

*A list of Non-Governmental Organizations accredited to provide advisory services to the Committee of the Convention.

*The Register of Good Safeguarding Practices

*Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

*List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

The Land of Legends and the Storytelling Networks of Kronoberg is adopted on the first list and the Land of Legends on the second list.


For more information about UNESCO, the convention, the lists and the work in Sweden please visit