Is It a UNESCO or an UNESCO?

It’s a UNESCO. For example, we say a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a UNESCO project, a UNESCO study, etc. Since the word UNESCO begins with a consonant sound ("you"), we use the article a.

The reef has been listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The reef has been listed an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The abbreviation UNESCO begins with a vowel, but it doesn't have a vowel sound.

He is a UNESCO expert who left the US and went to Africa in 2020.

And remember, the rule for using "a" or "an" is based on pronunciation, not spelling.

According to a UNESCO report, sustainability should become a core practice and purpose of higher education institutions.

Similarly, when referring to the letter "U", we say "a U" (not an "U").

I'd like to buy a necklace with a "U" on it.

A partial list of abbreviations that also begin with the consonant sound "you", and therefore take "a", can be found below:

  • a UFO (Unidentified Flying Object)
  • a UID (Unique Identifier)
  • a UK (United Kingdom)
  • a UN (United Nations)
  • a URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
  • a USA (United States of America)
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