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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> (UNESCO; {{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). Its purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.<ref name=history>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> It is the heir of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

UNESCO has 195 member states<ref>UNESCO's General Conference voted on 31 October 2011 "to admit Palestine as a member State". However, it notes that, for "its membership to take effect, Palestine must sign and ratify UNESCO's Constitution". {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and nine associate members.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[dead link] }}</ref> Most of its field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries; national and regional offices also exist.

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 to 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.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

UNESCO's aim is "to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information".<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Other priorities of the organization include attaining quality Education For All and lifelong learning, addressing emerging social and ethical challenges, fostering cultural diversity, a culture of peace and building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

The broad goals and concrete objectives of the international community — as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) — underpin all UNESCO's strategies and activities.

UNESCO sections
Intro  History  Activities  Official UNESCO NGOs  Institutes and centres  Official list of UNESCO prizes  International Days observed at UNESCO  Member states  Governing bodies  Offices  Controversy and reform  Products or services  References and notes  See also  External links  

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