- UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.
- Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.
- It is the successor of the League of Nations’ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.
- UNESCO has 195 member states and ten associate members.
- UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture and communication/information.
- Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy, technical, and teacher-training programmes, international science programmes, the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press, regional and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity, translations of world literature, international cooperation agreements on secure the world cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and to preserve human rights, and attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.
- It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.
- Why in news?
India was re-elected as member of executive board of United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO).
Executive board is UNESCO’s top decision-making body.