Established in 1996 the UNESCO office in Dhaka made a modest beginning, with just education programme. Gradually the office expanded its remit and incorporated Culture and then Communication and Information programme respectively. Over the years the office has emerged as a critical contributor to Bangladesh’s development efforts in these fields of UNESCO’s competence.
The office closely works with the government and mainly at the policy level. As a specialized agency the office assists the government to both shape as well as achieve its development objectives by acting as a laboratory of ideas, a standard-setter, a clearing house, a capacity builder and as a catalyst for international cooperation.
The UNESCO Dhaka Office’s image as a credible development partner of Bangladesh is based on its work for promoting Education for All, fostering freedom of speech and preserving and celebrating the country’s rich cultural heritage.
The government aside the UNESCO Office in Dhaka also collaborates with and actively engages civil society organisations, NGOs, and media in pursuit of its overarching goal of sustainable development and lasting peace.
In the spirit of One UN and as part of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Bangladesh, UNESCO Dhaka works in synergy with the sister agencies within the UN system for achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Bangladesh by 2015. The principal mechanism that the UN currently uses to coordinate development work at country level is the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
UNESCO Support to Post 2015 Development Process in Bangladesh
UNESCO Dhaka office is actively involved in the Post 2015 development process since October 2012 as a member of Bangladesh UNCT Task Force on Post 2015. Dhaka office actively participated in all the Task Force meetings and provided potential contributions as per the set Task Force TOR through discussions, comments, emails, telephone communications (in country and abroad with lead consultant), write ups, sharing documents etc. Inputs are provided in all areas keeping UNESCO mandates in mind. Dhaka office actively participated in UNCT Report development process by participating in Thematic Chapter Development groups and contributed proactively especially for Education (including HIV and Gender areas) areas in Inclusive Social Development chapter development. Dhaka office played the lead role in preparing education chapter by keeping regular communication and sharing with UNICEF Bangladesh office. Over all comments and suggestions were provided to the lead consultant (international) on the draft final chapter report. Dhaka office provided substantive inputs in other areas like TVET (to ILO), Sustainable Environment (to UNDP), Governance (to UNDP) etc. areas. Dhaka office actively participated in the National consultation processes organized by GED (General Economic Division of Planning Commission) by contributing in Goal, Target and Indicator settings in different areas identified by Bangladesh government. UNESCO’s suggestions are well accepted by govt. Dhaka office shared the Bangladesh experiences at regional level meetings.