UNESCO has a long-standing partnership with Lebanon and the Arab Region since the establishment in 1961 of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Beirut, with collaboration in all of the Organization’s areas of competence. In 2002, the Bureau also assumed the role of Cluster Office for Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories in the Middle East. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

As Regional Bureau for Education, UNESCO Beirut is the lead coordinator for SDG 4 in the Arab Region. We strive to provide tangible support for each Member State in the region to improve the quality and relevance of education and learning and promote a holistic approach to education encompassing all levels, pathways and modes of delivery. Our work takes into account national needs and priorities, thereby employing nationally relevant approaches.

In the sector of Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO Beirut programmes promote the development and use of social science knowledge that contributes to better understanding and management of social transformations. The focus is on improving the linkage between research and policy-making, including the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of development actions and processes, the dissemination of research results, best practices and capacity building.

As a cluster office for Culture in Lebanon and Syria, the role of UNESCO Beirut is a crucial one considering the uniqueness and richness of this region's cultural heritage, and the major and diverse threats this heritage is facing, mainly due to armed conflict. UNESCO Beirut dedicates considerable resources to support local authorities in protecting and safeguarding their tangible and intangible heritage, an essential step towards cherishing cultural pluralism, achieving sustainable peace and economic prosperity.

In the Communication and Information sector, UNESCO Beirut seeks to promote the free flow of ideas and information, conducive to advancement of societies and their democratic functioning. In particular, we assist Arab member states in building up their skills in communication and information; improving their infrastructures - media, libraries, archives, information services and networks; and training their professionals.