United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO)

United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO)

Who we are

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a UN Specialized Agency founded on 16 November 1945.

The Organization has 195 Members and 10 Associate Members. It is governed by the General Conference and the Executive Board. The Secretariat, headed by the Director-General, implements the decisions of these two bodies.

The Organizationn has more than 50 field offices around the world.

The UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean is responsible for the implementation of UNESCO’s programmes in: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Curaçao; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Jamaica; Montserrat; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sint Maarten; Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

What we do

UNESCO is responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. It strengthens the ties between nations and societies, and mobilizes the wider public so that each child and citizen:

  • has access to quality education; a basic human right and an indispensable prerequisite for sustainable development;
  • may grow and live in a cultural environment rich in diversity and dialogue, where heritage serves as a bridge between generations and peoples;
  • can fully benefit from scientific advances;
  • and can enjoy full freedom of expression; the basis of democracy, development and human dignity.

UNESCO's messages are of increasing importance today, in a globalized world where interconnections and diversity must serve as opportunities to build peace in the minds of men and women.

The UNESCO Special Initiative for the Caribbean

The UNESCO Special Initiative for the Caribbean represents the Organization’s contribution to the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UN MSDF) in the Caribbean 2017 - 2021. The Initiative responds to the development imperatives in the Caribbean sub-region as reflected in such frameworks as SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway; Strategic Plan for the Caribbean Community 2015-2019: Repositioning CARICOM; Small Island Developing States - UNESCO’s Action Plan; UNESCO Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021; and  the UNESCO Strategy for Action on Climate ChangeThese frameworks provide the platforms for UNESCO to focus the Special Initiative for the Caribbean on two thematic priority areas, namely, youth and climate change.

The Special Initiative proposes an integrated approach to sustainable development, emphasizing inter-agency linkages and cooperation with international and regional development partners as well as national partners, including the National Commissions for UNESCO, in addressing the special needs of Caribbean states. The areas of focus where actions will be undertaken under the two thematic priorities are: youth empowerment through skills for opportunities; youth-driven policy design; youth engagement in knowledge sharing and social innovation; resilience of communities to disasters and climate change through cultural-natural resource initiatives; and climate change response through education and communication. The five focus areas of actions fall under UNESCO’s functions of (i) fostering alliances, intellectual cooperation, knowledge sharing and operational partnerships, (ii) providing advice for policy development and implementation; and (iii) developing institutional and human capacities. 

UNESCO and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

UNESCO actively contributed to the shaping of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 – drawing on its humanist mandate. Designed as an agenda of the people, by the people and for the people, it highlights the vital importance of human capacities, skills and knowledge to adapt and respond to the challenges and opportunities of the present and the future, many of which are still unknown.

The 2030 Agenda also confirms the way of working of UNESCO as a specialized agency. Fully utilizing the core functions of specialized agencies like UNESCO, i.e. the emphasis on normative and standard setting work; the provision of integrated policy advice; the ability to implement cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary approaches; capacity development; partnership with a large range of stakeholders, investment in high quality data, statistics and analysis, are key to support countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

For more information visit: www.unesco.org.