United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Org type Agency
Head Irina Bokova
Director-General of UNESCO
Status Active
Established 16 November 1945
Headquarters Paris, France

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (French: L'Organisation des Nations unies pour l’éducation, la science et la culture. It is an agency of the United Nations (UN).

UNESCO says its purpose, as defined just after the end of World War II, is "to build the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women". It does this by helping nations work together, through education for all, science, and culture. This is supposed to help other nations follow the rule of law and human rights. It also helps promote some freedoms which are in the UN Charter.

UNESCO has 195 Member countries. It recently added Palestine in November 2011. Along with Palestine, eight other states became members.

UNESCO tries to achieve what it wants to do through six programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. Some projects sponsored by UNESCO are literacy, technical, and teacher-training programmes. UNESCO also decides what will become World Heritage Sites. A World Heritage Site is an important, special interesting or beautiful place. If a place is a World Heritage Site, the place can not be destroyed, as it can give useful information for the future. The Uluru, for example, gives a lot of information on the culture of Aborigines. UNESCO is also a member of the United Nations Development Group. and works for Millennium Development Goals.

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