The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded on November 16, 1945. For this specialized United Nations agency, it is not enough to build classrooms in devastated countries or to publish scientific breakthroughs. Education, social and natural science, culture, and communication are the means to a far more ambitious goal: to build peace in the minds of people.
Today, UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues. The organization also serves as a clearinghouse — for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge — while helping member states to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields. In short, UNESCO promotes international co-operation among its 195* member states and nine* associate members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.
This role is critical, particularly in the face of terrorism, which constitutes an attack against humanity. The world urgently requires global visions of sustainable development based upon observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which lie at the heart of UNESCO’s mission and activities.
(* As of July, 2014.)