The International Council of Museums ICOM was created in 1946. It is the largest international organisation of museums and museum professionals, with 35,000 members in 137 countries and territories.
It is a non-governmental organisation maintaining formal relations with UNESCO and having a consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council. As a non-profit organisation, ICOM is financed primarily by membership fees and supported by various governmental and other bodies.
ICOM members participate in the national, regional and international activities of the organisation: workshops, publications, training, projects, and the promotion of museums through the International Museum Day (May 18, every year).
Members participate in the activities of 117 National Committees and 31 International Committees (of which UMAC is one).
ICOM’s activities respond to the challenges and needs of the museum profession and are focused on the following themes:
- professional cooperation and exchange;
- dissemination of knowledge and raising public awareness of museums;
- training of personnel;
- advancement of professional standards;
- elaboration and promotion of professional ethics;
- preservation of heritage and combating the illicit traffic in cultural property.