The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, otherwise known as UNESCO, operates under the United Nations government. From its headquarters in Paris, UNESCO aims to promote peace and security by encouraging global reforms in the fields of education, science, communication and culture, as well as promoting greater respect for human rights and freedoms.
The objectives, strategies and activities of UNESCO are wide-ranging and include global initiatives such as peace building, environmental sustainability, ethical development, gender equality and poverty eradication. Intercultural dialogue is encouraged and promoted through communication and information sharing between nations. Education initiatives aim to promote a culture of lifelong learning, address a variety of social and ethical challenges and encourage multicultural diversity.
UNESCO’s roots date back to a 1921 League of Nations resolution to elect a Global Feasibility Commission. The International Bureau of Education was founded in 1925 and functioned as a non-partisan organization, promoting international educational development until the start of World War II.
After the war, different nations such as China, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union understood the need for a coordinated promotion of global education initiatives. In 1945, the agency we now know as UNESCO was founded by the United Nations. His first conference was held in London in the same year, with the representation of the countries 44. The UNESCO constitution was ratified in 1946.
Currently, UNESCO is composed of 195 member states and ten associate members. A global presence is maintained through different types of local offices: regional offices, national offices, liaison offices and “cluster offices” covering three or more countries.
UNESCO sponsors a wide and diverse range of projects in the fields of education, culture, communication and information, as well as natural, social and human sciences.
Being the only United Nations agency with a mandate to address all aspects of education, UNESCO promotes education as a fundamental human right and the foundations for peace building, poverty reduction and global sustainability. Programs such as literacy initiatives, teacher education programs, world literature translations and comparative research help strengthen ties between nations and increase access to quality education worldwide.
UNESCO has been at the forefront of scientific research and development since its inception. The organization seeks to establish national and regional scientific policies, particularly in developing countries, and establish research organizations to promote biodiversity, engineering and education, as well as address the challenges of natural disasters and climate change .
Other important initiatives include the preservation of cultural heritage sites, the promotion of social integration through sports activities, the promotion of accessible health care as a fundamental human right and the construction of global “knowledge societies” by providing global access to digital information and encouraging international journalistic freedom.
Different, but united
The numerous UNESCO programs and initiatives have a broader objective: to strengthen the ties between the different countries and cultures of the world. His themes of education, peace building and accessibility extend to all global citizens. They offer us the opportunity to enjoy quality education, a sustainable life, a rich cultural heritage, technological advances and complete freedom of human expression.