The United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) was founded on 16 November 1945.
UNESCO is responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. It strengthens the ties between nations and societies, and mobilizes the wider public so that each child and citizen:
• has access to quality education; a basic human right and an indispensable prerequisite for sustainable development;
• may grow and live in a cultural environment rich in diversity and dialogue, where heritage serves as a bridge between generations and peoples;
• can fully benefit from scientific advances;
• and can enjoy full freedom of expression; the basis of democracy, development and human dignity.
UNESCO's messages are of increasing importance today, in a globalized world where interconnections and diversity must serve as opportunities to build peace in the minds of men and women.
UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. It is through this dialogue that the world can achieve global visions of sustainable development encompassing observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which are at the heart of UNESCO’S mission and activities.
The broad goals and concrete objectives of the international community – as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – underpin all UNESCO’s strategies and activities. Thus UNESCO’s unique competencies in education, the sciences, culture and communication and information contribute towards the realization of those goals.
UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. The Organization focuses, in particular, on two global priorities:
• Gender equality
And on a number of overarching objectives:
• Attaining quality education for all and lifelong learning
• Mobilizing science knowledge and policy for sustainable development
• Addressing emerging social and ethical challenges
• Fostering cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace
• Building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication
UNESCO has 195 Members and eight Associate Members. It is governed by the General Conference and the Executive Board. The Secretariat, headed by the Director-General, implements the decisions of these two bodies.
The Organization has more than 50 field offices around the world. Its headquarters are located at Place de Fontenoy in Paris, France, in an outstanding, Modernist building inaugurated in 1958 and recently renovated.
Reference and hyperlink required.