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UNESCO, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, works to build the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. Through this dialogue, the world hopes to 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:

1. Africa

2. Gender equality

The major objectives of UNESCO are:

  • 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

For more details on global operations of UNESCO, click here:

UNESCO in India

UNESCO New Delhi Office, the Organization's first decentralized Office in Asia, was established in 1948. At its inception, it dealt with science and technology programmes in eleven South and Central Asian countries, i.e. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In time, it incorporated communication programmes, and still later it expanded to include education and culture.

As part of UNESCO's new decentralization policy, UNESCO New Delhi is presently designated as a Cluster Office and is a platform for delivery of activities in all areas of UNESCO’s competence, namely, education, the natural and social sciences, culture, communication and information. It implements a biennial Cluster programme that is integrated within itself and with the overall goals of the Organization. This is done through a fundamental operating principle - consultation and consensus with the National Commissions of the Member States, Regional Bureaus, civil society representatives, and other stakeholders and partners. The New Delhi Office is now mandated to cover six countries of South Asia -- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

UNESCO's programmes in Bangladesh and Nepal are implemented in consultation with UNESCO Offices in Dhaka (go to homepage) and Kathmandu (go to homepage) respectively.

For more details on UNESCO India, click here: