UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is an international organization that leads international cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture, and information and communication. It was established in November 1945 after the conclusion of the Second World War. UNESCO was formed to enlighten international public opinion in order to reflect on the two world wars that humankind experienced, and the numerous crimes committed therein in order to avoid a repetition of the same errors.
This founding spirit is well contained in the UNESCO Constitution, the full text of which begins as follows: “That since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” The mission of UNESCO is the wide diffusion of culture for human dignity, the promotion of sufficient and equal education for justice, liberty and peace, and to strengthen the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind, thereby promoting world peace and mankind’s common development.
UNESCO launched an international cooperation campaign in 1959 to protect the monuments of Nubia that were threatened by rising water levels from the construction of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt. These UNESCO activities resulted in a keen awareness for the necessity of a system that can always protect cultural heritages of importance to human history. In 1972, UNESCO's 17th General Assembly enacted the "Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage" (the World Heritage Convention), establishing standards and principles of protection for World Heritage that should be jointly preserved by humanity. As a result, according to the World Heritage Convention, heritage sites with “Outstanding Universal Value” were inscribed on the World Heritage List and managed as common heritage of humanity.
As of the most recent numbers in July 2019, a total of 1,121 World Heritage Sites are listed in 167 countries around the world. Among UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, there are also 'negative heritages' that teach history from the point of view of what not to do. The wounds of history contained in these 'negative heritages' are ones that are not easily erased or healed. These heritages thus demonstrate the determination to keep them always in mind and to never make the same mistakes again.
Reference: ｢UNESCO and Heritage｣ Korean National Commission for UNESCO