Since wars begin in the minds of men and women, it is in the minds of men and women that the defenses of peace must be constructed.
This vision underpins the work of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In a fragile world, political and economic arrangements of governments are not enough to secure the lasting and sincere support of the peoples. Lasting peace must be founded upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity, human rights and human dignity. It must be founded upon dialogue and mutual understanding.
In this spirit, UNESCO works so that each child and citizen has access to quality education. UNESCO develops educational tools to help people live as global citizens free of hate and intolerance. By promoting cultural heritage and the equal dignity of all cultures, UNESCO strengthens bonds among cultures. UNESCO’s fosters scientific programs and policies as platforms for development and cooperation. UNESCO stands up for freedom of expression, as a fundamental right and a key condition for democracy and development. Serving as a laboratory of ideas, UNESCO helps countries adopt international standards and manages programs that promote cooperation, the free flow of ideas and access to quality education for all.
This was the lesson learned from a world war that was marked by racist and anti-Semitic violence. Seventy years on and many liberation struggles later, UNESCO’s mandate is as relevant as ever. The world is still a volatile place, where cultural diversity is under attack, and new forms of intolerance and exclusion, rejection of scientific facts and threats to freedom of expression challenge peace and human rights. In response, UNESCO's duty remains to reaffirm the humanist missions of education, science and culture.
UNESCO is an Organization for Peace and works to give a human face to globalization. Its actions contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.