The UNESCO National Office to Iraq was founded in 2003 to improve Education, Culture, the Sciences and Media situation in the country. UNESCO's main office in the country is located in Baghdad. UNESCO supports programme implementation in line with the Iraqi National Development Plan, in cooperation with its key national partners: the Ministries of Education and Higher Education, Water Resources, Labour and Social Affairs, Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, Governorates, the Independent Higher Electoral Commission, the Communications and Media Commission and others, as well as national and international NGOs.
UNESCO has a longstanding cooperation with Iraq and has successfully accomplished a number of major cultural heritage projects, such as the restoration of the Al-Askari Shrine in Samarra and the revitalization of Erbil Citadel.
In 2017, UNESCO, in cooperation with the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, launched the Response Plan for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in the Liberated Areas of Iraq (2017-2019). ‘Revive the Spirit of Mosul’ is a UNESCO priority for the coming years.
Since February 2018, UNESCO is fully mobilized for the Mosul initiative, at its Headquarters and in its field offices in Bagdad and the region. The initiative is in line with the National Reconstruction and Development plan of the Iraqi Government and the Iraq Recovery and Resilience Programme (RRP) launched by the UN Secretary-General.