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Building peace in the minds of men and women

Institutes and Centres linked to Communication and Information

UNESCO's efforts to build knowledge societies are being complemented by the work undertaken by Institutes and Centres. These entities which are normally funded by Member States carry out a plethora of activities which contribute to the achievement of UNESCO's strategic programme objectives.

Through capacity-building knowedge sharing and research, they provide a valuable and unique contribution to the implementation of UNESCO's Communication and Information strategic programme objectives for the benefits of Member States.

Though they are not legally part of the Organization, these Institutes and Centre are associated with UNESCO through formal arrangements.

Requests for the establishment of these Institutes and Centres emanate from Member States. The Executive Board then examines the individual application alongside a feasibility study, before forwarding recommendations to the General Conference which has the final say. 

Centres and Institutions complying with the Integrated Strategy adopted by the 37th UNESCO General Conference, are defined as "Category 2".

Category 2 Institutes and Centres

To date, UNESCO has given Category 2 status to over 100 entities, including the following Centres which are linked to the Communication and Information Sector:


Place: Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain


The Centre strives to contribute to the development of the Arab region, by harnessing the power of ICTs for creating capacity in knowledge sharing and acquisition, through the establishment of a knowledge hub for the six Member States of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and Yemen.

Main functions or recent activities: 

The functions of the Centre are tailored to contribute to the use of ICTs in knowledge acquisition and sharing for fostering sustainable development. In particular, it is:

  • A laboratory of ideas for developing strategic plans, policies and practices, through the networking of regional professionals, including the organization of face-to-face meetings and the establishment of virtual community of practices in the area of its competence;
  • A clearing house on theories, experiences and best practices in the area of the application of ICTs for knowledge sharing and acquisition worldwide;
  • A capacity-building entity, providing education and training for trainers in the areas related to capacity-building in ICTs for knowledge sharing and acquisition, including system development, applications development, computer literacy and information literacy;
  • A research centre for developing and coordinating cooperative research on technology solutions for knowledge acquisition and sharing;
  • A technology hub, providing state-of-the-art computing infrastructure in order to advance large-scale data-processing applications, scientific research and high-performance computing.

Thematic areas: ICT for Education, Science and Culture

Documents: Fact SheetReport by the Director-General on the feasibility study for the establishment of the Centre

Website: Regional Centre for Information and Communication Technology

Centre contact information: Ms Hala Amer
Acting Director
Regional Centre for Information and Communication Technology
Building 25, First Floor, BTI
ISA Town, P.O. Box 43
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain

UNESCO contact: Ms Zeynep Varoglu, Programme Specialist, Communication and Information Sector

Place: São Paulo, Federative Republic of Brazil

Summary: The Centre supports Latin America and Portuguese-speaking African countries with studies on the progress and impact of building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication. 

Main or recent activities: The Centre focuses on capacity building activities, enabling policy-makers to analyse survey statistics and monitor the impact of ICT policies on the development of information and knowledge societies and promote awareness on the issue. 

It also works as a clearing house, develops sectorial ICT survey methodologies and patterns of data collection for the production of ICT indicators in a number of fields, including cultural and audio-visual industries and the understanding of the ethical dimensions of Internet use and its social implications.

Thematic areas: ICT for Education, Science and CultureMedia and information literacy - Review of Cetic

Documents: Fact SheetAgreement with the Government of Brazil signed on March 28, 2012.

Website: The Centre of Studies on Information and Communication Technologies - CETIC.br

Centre contact information:

Antonio Tavares
Chairman of the Board of The Brazilian Network Information Center (NIC.br)

Alexandre F. Barbosa
Manager of the Center of Studies on Information and Communications Technologies (CETIC.br)

C/o CETIC.br
Av. Nações Unidas, 11.541
São Paulo, SP

UNESCO contact: Mr Davide Storti, Programme Specialist, Communication and Information Sector

Place: Oregon, United States of America

Summary and activities: The IIDCSR fields student and faculty research fellows worldwide to report on issues germane to the Institute and produce podcasts available to the public on the Institute’s website and broadcast on public radio. The Institute engages in world Press Freedom Day with student reporters and faculty advisors working in the Youth Newsroom. Its students are scheduled for UNESCO internships in Paris. Classes in conflict sensitive reporting are taught at the University of Oregon. The IIDCSR stages conferences dealing with its core competencies.

Thematic areas: Intercultural dialogue, inter-religious dialogue, conflict-sensitive reporting.

Documents: Statement of Intent and Agreement with the United States of America

Website: Institute for Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict-Sensitive Reporting (IIDCSR)

Centre contact information:

Peter Laufer, PhD
James Wallace Chair Professor in Journalism

Co-director UO-UNESCO Crossings Institute for Conflict Sensitive Reporting & Intercultural Dialogue
University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication
United States of America
Tel: + 1 541 346 2109

UNESCO contact: Mr Alton Grizzle, Programme Specialist, Communication and Information Sector

Place: Reykjavík, Republic of Iceland

Summary: The Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages was founded in 2001 with the aim to contribute to intercultural understanding between individuals and nations through research, teaching and dissemination with regards to language competences and knowledge about other cultures. The international scope of the institute was further enlarged with the foundation of The Vigdís International Centre of Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding, established through the signing of a convention between UNESCO and the Icelandic government in June 2013.

Main functions or recent activities:
Since its opening on 20 April 2017, the Centre has been working towards the objectives stated in the agreement with UNESCO, to:

  • promote multilingualism in order to further understanding, exchange and respect between cultures and nations;
  • raise awareness of the importance of language as a core element of the cultural heritage of humanity;
  • promote translation and translation studies in order to enhance the enjoyment of cultural diversity and intercultural understanding;
  • contribute to preservation of languages and to worldwide monitoring of the implementation of language policies and language planning in the field of mother tongue based multilingualism;
  • promote research and education in foreign languages studies and cultures;
  • support and promote research into the role of the mother language as a human right.

Thematic areas: Intercultural dialogue

Documents: Agreement with the Government of Iceland

Website: Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding

Centre contact information:
Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir
Professor of Second Language Acquisition, Chair of the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute
Tel: +354 525-4558

University of Iceland
Brynjólfsgötu 1
107 Reykjavík
Tel: +354 525 4191 / +354 525 4538

Kt. 600169-2039

UNESCO contact: Ms Irmgarda Kasinskaite, Programme Specialist, Communication and Information Sector

Place: Cheongju City, Republic of Korea

Summary: The Centre aims to provide a central hub for research, education, training and policy development in the area of documentary heritage, and bring an international perspective to developing solutions to challenges in preservation and access; raise awareness about the critical importance of documentary heritage for maintaining civilization and safeguarding culture worldwide; and facilitate the implementation of the 2015 Recommendation Concerning the Preservation of, and Access, to Documentary Heritage Including in Digital Form.

Main functions or recent activities:

  • Supporting the UNESCO Memory of the World (MoW) Programme by monitoring the preservation status of registered documentary heritage and participating in policy development and records management in the area of preservation including digital preservation.
  • Researching the management and care of documentary heritage and developing new creative content, in cooperation with the MoW Sub-Committee on Education & Research (SCEaR).
  • Providing education, training and capacity building opportunities to developing countries in cooperation with the MoW SCEaR and the National Archives of Korea.
  • Engaging in public relations activities to raise awareness around the world about the significance of documentary heritage.

Thematic areas: Memory of the World; Universal Access to Information and Knowledge; Preservation of documentary heritage; Digital preservation; Education on documentary heritage; Sustainable Development Goals

Documents: Draft Agreement with the Republic of Korea - Feasibility Study June 2017

Website: http://www.unescoicdh.org/eng/main.php

Centre contact information: Dr. Seung-Choul LEE
Email: unescoicdh@gmail.com

UNESCO contact: Mr Fackson Banda, Chief of Unit, Communication and Information Sector

Place: Maribor, Republic of Slovenia

Summary: The Institute of Information Science (IZUM) is a public institution established by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia as an information infrastructural service for Slovenian science, culture and education. Along with other agents of information activities in the country, it ensures Slovenia an entrance to the streams of the modern world's information society. IZUM emerged from the Computer Centre of the University of Maribor (RCUM), which transformed from a classical organisation of this type into a modern information infrastructure centre between 1980 and 1990.

Main functions or recent activities:
The activities of IZUM are mainly engaged in the development and operation of the COBISS system and services (Co-operative Online Bibliographic System and Services), which represents the core of the library information system in the Republic of Slovenia and of library information systems in some other countries linked in the COBISS.Net network (Republic of Serbia, North of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Albania).

IZUM performs the following activities:

  • in its field of work, co-ordination of the development and operation of the shared bibliographic system and services,
  • co-ordination of the development and application of standards for computer support to meet the requirements of the shared bibliographic system and services,
  • software development and maintenance to meet the requirements of the shared bibliographic system and services,
  • determination of the suitability of library staff for shared cataloguing purposes, in co-operation with the National Library,
  • planning and maintenance of the central computer and communications capacity to enable the functioning of the system,
  • organisation of access to foreign databases and services based on the agreements with their providers,
  • organisation of professional training and counselling in the fields covered by the national shared bibliographic system,
  • preparation of fundamental principles from its field of work for the work of the National Council for Librarianship,
  • development, organisation and maintenance of the information system for monitoring research activities in the Republic of Slovenia,
  • research, development and counselling in its field of work, and
  • other tasks based on the adopted long-term development guidelines and annual Action Plans.

Thematic areas: Diversity of Cultural Expressions; Memory of the World

Documents: Fact Sheet - Agreement with the Republic of Slovenia (UNESCO Archives)

Website: The Institute of Information Science (IZUM)

Centre contact information:
Aleš Bošnjak, PhD
Institute of information centre
Prešernova ulica 17
2000 Maribor
Tel: +386 2 2520 331
Fax: +386 2 2526 336

UNESCO contact: Mr Bhanu Neupane, Programme Specialist, Communication and Information Sector

Place: Ljubljana, Republic of Slovenia

Summary: The International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) functions as a Network of institutions and experts across the world, and a clearinghouse for relevant global AI projects. The Centre strives to foster open and transparent dialogue on AI with the goal of addressing the Sustainable Development Goals. To advance sustained reflection on AI and SDGs, IRCAI has established expert committees for each SDG, including education, assistive technologies, waste management, climate change, circular economy, and measurement of SDG indicators.

Main functions or recent activities:

The Centre works towards research, advocacy, capacity-building and dissemination of information about AI:

  • Research: Conduct theoretical and applied research in the field of artificial intelligence and advanced digital technologies.
  • Development: Develop open solutions to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals with specific focus on SDGs 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16 and 17.
  • Policy Advice: Provide policy support to help Member States address the technical, legal, social and ethical challenges at the intersection of technology and policy.
  • Capacity Building: Provide training for upstream and downstream capacity enhancement for artificial intelligence.
  • Multistakeholder Governance: Encourage multi-stakeholder participation and decision making in addressing the challenges raised by artificial intelligence.
  • Knowledge Exchange: Disseminate information and encourage literacy about artificial intelligence.
  • Advocacy: Promote measures for removal of gender bias in the development and deployment of artificial intelligence.
  • International Cooperation: Facilitate North-North and North-South cooperation in the development of artificial intelligence with special emphasis on supporting the development of a vibrant AI ecosystem in Africa.

Thematic areas: Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Development

Documents: Report by the Director-General on the feasibility study for the establishment of the Centre

Website: International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence

Centre contact information:
Prof John Shawe-Taylor
Executive Director, IRCAI
Regional Centre for Information and Communication Technology
Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova cesta 39, SI-1000

UNESCO contact: Ms Sasha Rubel, Programme Specialist, Communication and Information Sector

Other Centres

Place: Paris, Republic of France


The ISSN International Centre works with its Member Countries on the identification and promotion of serial publications, through the assignment of a unique identification code which facilitates access to serial titles for all users of serial literature whether in print or non-print formats.

The Centre, thanks to its network of national centres and its services, provides its Member States with access to quality information concerning serial publications worldwide.

Main or recent activities: Identification with the ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) also supports UNESCO’s and IFAP’s efforts on digital preservation.

Thematic areas: Information Preservation - Information for All Programme

Documents: Fact Sheet - Agreement with the French Government 

Website: ISSN

Centre contact information:

Centre International de l'ISSN
45 rue de Turbigo 
75003 Paris
Tel. : +33 1 44 88 22 20 
Fax : +33 1 40 26 32 43 

UNESCO contact: Mr Davide Storti, Programme Specialist, Communication and Information Sector