UNITWIN and UNESCO Chairs Program
Network Overview


The UNITWIN Program was launched in 1992 and operates through the establishment of UNESCO Chairs, and UNESCO university networks which are also designated as UNITWIN projects.

This program serves as a prime means of capacity building through the exchange of knowledge and sharing in a spirit of solidarity.

Thus it promotes North-South and South-South cooperation as a strategy to enrich institutions (Universities, research institutes) and field actors.

The UNITWIN metwork "Culture, tourism, sustainable development" was founded in 2002 by the UNESCO Chair "Culture, Tourism, development" from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and is made up of 25 universities through the world.

What is it about?

A closely knit system of cooperation in research, documentation and training to facilitate exchanges and knowledge-sharing among universities, decision makers, non-governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector.

A worldwide pool of skills and experts.


Create a worldwide system of cooperation between universities in the field that are concerned.

Promoting the concepts, principles and objectives of UNESCO incorporated in its documents of reference (1972, 2003 and 2005 Conventions especially and closing texts in International Conferences - Stockholm, 1998, Johannesburg, 2001).

A better understanding of nature and the complex ties between tourism, culture and sustainable development and enhancing cultural diversity.

Helping strategies and projects that are environmentally sustainable, socially fair, sensible from a business point of view and with a cultural value.

Getting expertise closer to the policy decision-makers to benefit the populations, especially those in poverty.



Constantly sharing education experiences, continuing education and applied research to improve them, also through the use of information technologies (including intranet).

Producing and providing education modules and tools (data collecting, analyzing and processing through preparation, project management and assessment, online education).

Promoting local cooperation through academic mobility, town-twinnings, supporting training programs and exchanges, especially in the Southern countries.

Setting up projects with multiple partnerships.

Having grades and masters created within the Network internationally recognized and acknowledged by a brand of excellence.

Frequent meetings between network universities to assess its efficiency and improve it: the first two meeting took place in France (Paris, March 2005 and Gréoux-les-Bains, May 2006) the following in Rimini, 2007, and in Quebec, 2010.

International Network "Culture, Tourism and Development"


National University of Tres de Febrero and Asociación Amigos
del Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, ARGENTINA

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), BELGIUM

University of São Paolo, BRAZIL

Université Laval, Quebec City, CANADA

China Academy of Sciences, CHINA

Universidad Externado de Colombia, COLOMBIA

Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), CYPRUS

Senghor University of Alexandria, EGYPT

University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, FRANCE

Toulouse 1 University Capitole, FRANCE

University of Crete, GREECE

Budapest Metropolitan University, HUNGARY

Anant National University, Ahmedabad, INDIA

University of Haifa, ISRAEL

University of Bologna, ITALY

University of Salento, ITALY

Mohammed V University, Rabat, MOROCCO

University of San Martin de Porres, PERU

University of Coimbra, PORTUGAL

Russian International Academy for Tourism, RUSSIA

Gaston Berger University, SENEGAL

University of Primorska, SLOVENIA

University of Barcelona, SPAIN

Complutense University of Madrid, SPAIN

University of Girona, SPAIN

King Juan Carlos University, SPAIN

Mid Sweden University, SWEDEN

University of Lugano, SWITZERLAND

University of Sousse, TUNISIA

University of Birmingham, UNITED KINGDOM

UNESCO Chairs are valuable intellectual and strategic partners of the Organization in the field of Culture

With the participation of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Tourism Untref-AAMNBA in December 2015 it was held in the central building of the UNESCO in Paris, the first coordination meeting between the Centers and Institutes of Category 2 and the UNESCO / UNITWIN Chairs of Cultural area.

The Category 2 centers and UNESCO Chairs are valuable intellectual and strategic partners of UNESCO, sharing common goals to contribute to the implementation of the strategy and the cultural programs of the Organization worldwide.

While all are based on the programs and the Conventions and recommendations of UNESCO, the synergies between them are slight. The objective of this first coordination meeting was to share experiences and knowledge, promote interaction, exploring the possibility of working in a more coordinated manner and encourage communication between the parties.
The Category 2 centers are established and financed by Member States as centers of excellence and expertise, to provide technical assistance and services through global activities, regional, sub regional and interregional.

The UNITWIN and UNESCO Chairs was conceived as a way to promote research, training and program development in all fields of competence of UNESCO through the creation of university networks and encouraging collaboration between universities by circulating border knowledge. Since its founding in 1992, the program has aroused great interest among the member states of the Organization.

Currently, there are 23 centers and institutes of Category 2 and about 80 UNESCO Chairs in the field of Culture.

Specifically in the field of cultural tourism there are 3 in the world:
» Russian Academy of Moscow
» Sorbonne University, Paris 1
» National University of Tres de Febrero and Association Amigos del Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Argentina.

All are members of the UNESCO / UNITWIN Network Culture, Tourism and Development which coordinates Dr. Maria Gravari-Barbas from the Sorbonne University, France.