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The Medium-Term Strategy for 2002-2007, together with the Programme and Budget for 2002-2003, represents the programmatic pillar of UNESCO’s reforms as adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference in 31 C/Resolution 1 at its 31st session held in October-November 2001. The Strategy aims at projecting a new vision and a new profile for the Organization by clarifying its main functions.

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Detail of the Japanese Garden - UNESCO Headquarters.
© UNESCO/Bia Barbosa
Overall, it is formulated around a single unifying theme – UNESCO contributing to peace and human development in an era of globalization through education, the sciences, culture and communication. Thus, it seeks to create a link between UNESCO’s mandate and role on the one hand and, on the other, globalization with a human face.

The Strategy unifies the four main programme areas with a common purpose and defines a limited number of strategic objectives, a total of 12 for the entire Organization and three for each programme. Around these strategic objectives are built two cross-cutting themes, which are and must be intrinsic to all programmes: the eradication of poverty, especially extreme poverty; and the contribution of information and communication technologies to education, science, culture and information and the construction of a knowledge society.

A unifying theme
UNESCO contributing to peace and human development in an era of globalization through education, the sciences, culture and communication.

Three main strategic thrusts
  • Developing and promoting universal principles and norms, based on shared values, in order to meet emerging challenges in education, science, culture and communication and to protect and strengthen the “common public good” ;
  • Promoting pluralism, through recognition and safeguarding of diversity together with the observance of human rights;
  • Promoting empowerment and participation in the emerging knowledge society through equitable access, capacity-building and sharing of knowledge.

    Twelve strategic objectives

  • Promoting education as a fundamental right in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • Improving the quality of education through the diversification of contents and methods and the promotion of universally shared values ;
  • Promoting experimentation, innovation and the diffusion and sharing of information and best practices as well as policy dialogue in education.

  • Promoting principles and ethical norms to guide scientific and technological development and social transformation ;
  • Improving human security by better management of the environment and social change ;
  • Enhancing scientific, technical and human capacities to participate in the emerging knowledge societies.

  • Promoting the drafting and implementation of standard-setting instruments in the cultural field ;
  • Safeguarding cultural diversity and encouraging dialogue among cultures and civilizations ;
  • Enhancing the linkages between culture and development, through capacity-building and sharing of knowledge.

    Communication and Information
  • Promoting the free flow of ideas and universal access to information ;
  • Promoting the expression of pluralism and cultural diversity in the media and world information networks ;
  • Access for all to information and communication technologies, especially in the public domain.

  • Through its strategies, UNESCO is actively contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Millenium Development Goals (September 2000).
  • Bureau of Strategic Planning
    Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific