UNESCO Beirut is a member of the United Nations Country team (UNCT) in Lebanon and Syria and contributes to the overall efforts of the UN system in these countries in continuously developing programmes and operations in collaboration with the respective Governments and partners, while taking into account the uniqueness of the crisis situation in these countries.

Beginning with its establishment in 1961 as the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States in Beirut the Office has been serving the Arab region and the member states of UNESCO.  The Arab States Center for Administration and Training of Education Personnel (ASCATEP) was founded in 1961 in Beirut (Resolution 1233 of the UNESCO General Conference) with the aim of training educational personnel within the Arab States in management and planning of Arab educational systems.

In 1972, within the framework of the decentralization policy, ASCATEP became UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States (UNEDBAS). During the war years in Lebanon, the Office was temporarily relocated to Cairo, Paris and Amman (1975-1991). It gradually re-opened in Beirut in 1992, where it is now officially located.