UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

UNESCO has 193 member states and 11 associate members. Based in Paris, France, most of its field offices are “cluster” offices that cover three or more countries; national and regional offices also exist.
UNESCO seeks to build a culture of peace and inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication.  It pursues its objectives through five major program areas:

  • education,
  • natural sciences,
  • social/human sciences,
  • culture,
  • communication/information.

It sponsors projects related to literacy, technical training, education, the advancement of science, promoting independent media and freedom of the press, preserving regional and cultural history, and promoting cultural diversity. UNESCO assists in translating and disseminating world literature, establishing international cooperation agreements to secure “World Heritage Sites” of cultural and natural importance, preserving human rights, and bridging the worldwide digital divide. It also launched and leads the Education For All movement and lifelong learning.
UNESCO is a member of the United Nations Development Group, a coalition of UN agencies and organizations aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.

The main objective of UNESCO is to contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, culture and communication in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law, and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.

In support of this objective, UNESCO’s principal functions are:

  • To promote intellectual co-operation and mutual understanding of peoples through all means of mass communication;
  • To give fresh impulse to popular education and to the spread of culture;
  • To maintain, increase and diffuse knowledge;
  • To encourage scientific research and training;
  • To apply sciences to ensure human development and the rational management of natural resources.