Education transforms lives and lies at the heart of UNESCO’s mission to build peace, eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development. The Education Sector provides global and regional leadership in education. This further strengthens education systems worldwide and helps fight contemporary global challenges, all of which find their root in ignorance and the lack of knowledge. This is why we aim to promote education as a human right for all throughout life and believe that access to it, must be matched by quality. Our work encompasses educational development from pre-school to higher education and beyond.

UNESCO is the only United Nations agency with a mandate to cover all aspects of education and has been entrusted to lead the Global Education 2030 Agenda through Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4. 

This Sector aims to strengthen Member States’ efforts in accelerating progress towards the achievement of SDG 4 mainly through focused programming in a diverse range of areas that includes: Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), Secondary Education (Out-Of-School Children), Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to Higher Education, Literacy and Life-long learning, Gender Equality and Inclusive Education. 

The Education Sector in UNESCO New Delhi serves six countries in South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka).  

Natural Sciences

The Natural Sciences programmes contribute to UNESCO’s mission to advance and promote science in the interests of peace, sustainable development, human security and well-being.  The overarching objective is mobilizing scientific knowledge to assist Member States in their aspirations to build sustainable knowledge societies to address economic, social and environmental challenges.

UNESCO acts as an advocate for science, a platform for generating and sharing ideas and standard setting, and promotes dialogue between scientists and policy-makers.

It empowers and catalyzes innovative initiatives in the field of international cooperation in science, in particular through networks and capacity building.

For the next two years, the priorities for the UNESCO New Delhi Natural Sciences sector are: Strengthening science, technology and innovation (STI) systems and policies for sustainable development, poverty eradication, gender equality, and culture of peace and non-violence; and Mobilizing science for the sustainable use of natural resources, renewable energy, water security, and for natural disaster reduction and mitigation.

The sub-themes under the sectors purview include – Ecological Sciences, Basic Sciences, Science, Technology and Innovation, and the International Hydrological Programme. 

Social and Human Sciences

At a time of increasing global challenges and threats, such as inequality, exclusion and violence, learning to live together and fostering rights, inclusion and non-discrimination among all members of the global community becomes more topical than ever before.

The Social and Human Sciences (SHS) sector of UNESCO supports Members States to better understand and address the challenges and priorities for inclusive development in different cultural and political contexts.

The sector creates and mobilizes knowledge to foster socially inclusive, resilient and equitable communities, working to address the drivers of exclusion, marginalization, and fragility. The sector’s programmes equip individuals, communities, and decisionmakers with the knowledge, skills and opportunities to support meaningful social and civic participation, with a particular focus on those most marginalized and most excluded within our societies. 
In 2022 and 2023, the sector’s work in South Asia will focus on three thematics: engaging men and boys for gender equality; strengthening the use of sports to foster inclusion and resilience; and empowering and engaging youth in initiatives for civic engagement, global citizenship, and intercultural dialogue.
The sector’s flagship work in 2021 included a groundbreaking report focusing on gender equality and masculinities in India, Transforming MEN-talities, and a launch of a regional workshop series on engaging youth for social cohesion. 


UNESCO New Delhi's Culture programmes focuses on empowering decision-makers and communities to preserve and enhance their rich and diverse culture in South Asia, in particular Bhutan, India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka while having close working relations with our country offices in Bangladesh and Nepal.  In a time of unprecedented economic and social change, UNESCO's mandate is to ensure that diverse histories, cultures and habitats are not only preserved, but also filled with renewed relevance for future generations.

The countries in South Asia, like any other nations, have set priorities for development.

Assessing their specific needs, UNESCO New Delhi Culture Sector develops and implements activities that would project culture as a tool for development. 

The sector focuses on a variety of sub-themes, which include – World Heritage Convention and Heritage Sites, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Museum and Cultural Objects, Cultural Industries, Culture and Development, Heritage in Danger and Intercultural Dialogue.

Communication and Information

The Communication and Information (CI) Programme promotes Freedom of expression and safety of journalists online and off-line by countering hate speech, disinformation and misinformation through awareness raising, monitoring, capacity-building, and technical support. This action is guided by the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists.

The CI Programme also supports Media development by strengthening free, independent and pluralistic media, and by creating the conditions necessary for the media to perform effectively.

Media and information literacy (MIL) and journalism education institutions are strengthened through curricula development, adaptation and application, and capacity building.
The Programme contributes to Universal access to information and knowledge through Open Solutions, including Open Educational Resources, and Multilingualism in the cyberspace.

The Programme aims to foster gender equality in media operations and content, and encourages pertinent media coverage of crisis and emergency situations. It contributes to media diversity and pluralism by fostering diverse content, audiences, sources, and systems.