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UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization




  • © UNESCO/ Giovanni Boccardi
  • Hatra

Iraq joined UNESCO on 21 October 1948.
UNESCO’s Iraq office is temporarily sharing space with the UNESCO Office Amman in Jordan.

Iraq has placed education at the heart of its cooperation with UNESCO, and many efforts are currently deployed to support education in the country. Iraq is one of 35 countries participating in the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE), a 10-year global strategy to achieve the goals of the United Nations Literacy Decade.

Regarding communication and information, UNESCO strongly supports Iraq in the development of a national media and communication policy that promotes freedom of expression, through a series of programmes to build the capacity of the media sector.

Three Iraqi sites are inscribed on the World Heritage List. The large fortified city of Hatra was added in 1985. The ancient city of Ashur, capital city of the Assyrian Empire on the banks of the Tigris River, inscribed in 2003, is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The latest addition, Samarra Archaeological City, former Islamic capital with a 9th century mosque and spiral minaret, was inscribed in 2007 as both World Heritage and World Heritage in Danger. In view of recent conflicts in the country, the Organization is now focusing on safeguarding Iraq’s cultural treasures.

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