Our Expertise in the Caribbean

Our five areas of Expertise

The UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean, based in Kingston, seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, Social, Natural and Human Sciences, Culture and Communication with and for the Caribbean Member States and Associate Members. UNESCO’s five programmes sectors contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) defined in the Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

The Cluster Office developed the Special Initiative for the Caribbean, SPIC, an integrated approach for sustainable development in addressing the needs of the Caribbean Small Island Developing States, SIDS. The initiative has identified Youth and Climate Change as two thematic priorities that are of major importance for sustainable development in the sub-region regarding the high levels of youth unemployment and the pressing threat of sealevel rising and natural hazards impacted by Climate Change. UNESCO recognizes that solutions to today’s global challenges such as climate change and youth unemployment need a multi-sectoral response. In this regard, UNESCO mobilizes scientific and traditional knowledge in the context of its multidisciplinary mandate in education, culture, the social and human sciences and communication and information.

Education

UNESCO's mandate in Education promotes the fundamental right to education, access to quality education for all, life-long learning and improving skills for employability. The UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean provides policy advice and support for each Member State & Associate Member, capacity development, standard setting instruments and dissemination of good practices through existing networks. In light of the regional challenges, the Education activities emphasize on empowering Boys for Education and on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, TVET, for preparing Youth for Employability to combat the region’s high unemployment and youth crime.

Natural Sciences

The Caribbean SIDS are especially vulnerable to climate change. The mitigation of climate change and the effective management of the rich natural resources is among the priorities of the mandate of the UNESCO Natural Science sector in the Caribbean. The sector promotes dialogue between scientists and policy makers; aims to mobilize scientific and traditional knowledge and policy for sustainable development. builds capacity in science and acts as a platform for sharing ideas and standard setting. Cross-cutting themes include natural disaster reduction, biodiversity, engineering, science education, climate change and sustainable development.

Social and Human Sciences

In the sector of Social and Human Sciences, the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean promotes 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. The Cluster Office engages in activities to promote gender equality and equity through Sports and to empower Youth in all areas of life for a sustainable future for all.

Culture

Culture is an enabler and driver of development processes in the countries and territories in the Cluster. The role of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean is a crucial one considering the uniqueness and richness of this region's cultural heritage. The overarching goal is to foster cultural diversity, promote intercultural dialogue and establish a culture of peace in the region as catalyzer for sustainable development. In light of the challenges of the Caribbean SIDS, the Office’s activities focus on pre- and post-disaster assessments on cultural heritage to prevent, safeguard and restore tangible and intangible heritage, to prevent the loss of Caribbean identities. 

Communication and Information

UNESCO’s activities for Communication and Information aim to foster free flow of ideas, universal access to information and building inclusive knowledge societies through democratization of institutions and actors in the region. The development of Caribbean media enhances freedom of expression, and contributes to poverty eradication, peace and sustainable development. UNESCO trains media professionals in reporting on global challenges, such as climate change, building up the skills of Caribbean Youth in digital development for employability, and improving their information infrastructures - media, libraries, archives, information services & networks.

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Special Initiative for the Catibbean