Building peace in the minds of men and women

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was created in 1945, when much of the world was emerging from the wreckage of the Second World War. Canada was one of its 20 founding members.

Its goal was—and remains—a lofty one: Nothing less than world peace.

Getting countries talking

UNESCO works towards peace by sparking and deepening dialogue among diverse nations and societies in areas like education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. It promotes respect for unique cultures and civilizations, and inspires nations to find common values to support global cooperation.

It serves as a hub for the exchange of knowledge and ideas among its 195 member states and nine associate members.

A lab of ideas

UNESCO actively promotes education for all, cooperation, non-violence, respect for human rights, and cultural diversity. As the world’s developing countries struggle to find their place in an increasingly globalized, knowledge-driven world, its work is ever more vital.

Peace and sustainable development

UNESCO's central goals are peace and sustainable development. Its priorities include gender equality, youth, small island developing states and the world's least developed countries, especially in Africa.

UNESCO's strategic objectives: Now to 2021

  • Developing education systems so more people can have lifelong learning opportunities
  • Helping learners become creative, responsible global citizens
  • Shaping the future education agenda
  • Pursuing sustainable development by promoting cooperation between science, policy and society with ethical and inclusive policies
  • Supporting inclusive social development; promoting intercultural dialogue
  • Protecting and promoting heritage
  • Fostering creativity and diverse cultural expression
  • Promoting freedom of expression, media development and universal access to information and knowledge