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UIL contributes to UNESCO’s mission through research, capacity development, networking and publications. Its activities are closely aligned with UNESCO’s functions (laboratory of ideas, standard setter, clearing house, capacity builder and catalyst for international cooperation) and are essentially focused on supporting Member States in the field of lifelong learning, adult and continuing education, literacy and non-formal basic education.

UIL pays special attention to UNESCO’s Global Priority Africa and Global Priority Gender Equality. The Institute carries out its work in the framework of its new Medium Term Strategy 2014-2021 and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, continually repositions itself, through its flagship activities, as a global centre of excellence for lifelong learning.