Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations
 Where is the Middle East?
UNESCO, 2005

Though UNESCO set up a field office for the Middle East (in Cairo) in 1947, formal regionalization did not occur until 1964, when UNESCO's General Conference assigned countries to five regions: Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Arab States. The countries assigned to the Arab States region were: Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Southern Arabian Federation, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen.

Israel was one of five countries (including the United States) not assigned to any region by the 1964 General Conference. Though it at first favored placement in the Asia region, Israel petitioned the 1974 General Conference to be placed in the Europe region. During or after this same period, Djibouti, Egypt, Malta, Mauritania, Oman, and Somalia were added to the Arab States region.

Sources: Seth Spaulding and Lin Lin, Historical Dictionary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1997), xxviii, 424; Richard Hoggart, An Idea and Its Servants: UNESCO from Within (London: Chatto & Windus, 1978), 75-81; Daniel G. Partan, Documentary Study of the Politicization of UNESCO ([Boston]: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1975); “Arab States,” UNESCO.org, http://erc.unesco.org/cp/Mslist.asp?lg=E&&type=1&®=5

"Arab States"
Algeria
Bahrain
Djibouti
Egypt
Iraq
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Libya
Malta
Mauritania
Morocco
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Somalia
Sudan
Syria
Tunisia
United Arab Emirates
Yemen
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