New7Wonders of the World

New7Wonders and UNESCO: Separate organizations, common goals


Zurich/Switzerland, June 8, 2007: The New7Wonders Foundation, an international non-profit foundation, and the United National Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are both active promoting international cultural dialogue. As distinct organizations, they have enjoyed a mutually supportive relationship since the beginning of the New7Wonders campaign.

As Bernard Weber, President of the New7Wonders Foundation, explains: “It is important to clarify that UNESCO and the New7Wonders Foundation are two organizations with distinct mandates and goals. For example:”

  • UNESCO is part of the United Nations, funded by governments and taxpayers. Its goal is to promote international co-operation among its 192 Member States and six Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.
  • The New7Wonders Foundation is a non-profit foundation funded exclusively by its participants and supporters. Through the NewOpenWorld Foundation, it is hosting a popular media campaign to choose the New 7 Wonders of the World with the first-ever global election.

New7Wonders authority now comes from people of the world, after UNESCO’s early help

The New7Wonders Foundation notes that the tremendous work that UNESCO does in cataloguing and recognizing world heritage has successfully raised the profile of cultural diversity and has sensitized people in many countries to cultural topics. Mr. Weber elaborates:

“One of the most important facets of UNESCO’s work in the cultural arena is that of the World Heritage Committee, which recognizes a growing number of World Heritage sites (currently 830). New7Wonders recognizes that it is not in the statutes of UNESCO to participate in media selection campaigns—nor should it be. New7Wonders and UNESCO have been mutually supportive without there being any formal association between us. At the start of the New7Wonders campaign, UNESCO helped greatly, providing advice on nominee selection. We are still grateful for this early support. Now, the authority enjoyed by the New7Wonders Foundation comes from the people of the world, who have already cast over 50 million votes in this first-ever global election.”

Professor Federico Mayor Zaragoza, former Director-General of UNESCO and President of the New7Wonders Panel of Experts, adds: “When I was with UNESCO, I always heartily welcomed individual initiatives that contribute to the promotion of World Heritage and help foster the celebration of cultural diversity.”

The New7Wonders Foundation is a non-governmental, non-profit foundation structured according to Swiss laws, similar to other international non-governmental organizations registered in Switzerland, such as the International Olympic Committee, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) or the International Red Cross.

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