Our Mission

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning supports policy and builds capacity in lifelong learning, shaping the global discourse and supporting national and regional partners in making a case for education and learning throughout life.

It aims to strengthen the capacities of UNESCO Member States in the field of lifelong learning, with a focus on youth and adults, and particular emphasis on the policies and systems conducive to lifelong learning pathways. UIL does this through policy support, research and foresight, monitoring, capacity-building, networking and advocacy. Its publications constitute an important instrument to disseminate knowledge and inform policies.

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is our guide to action. Leaving no one behind is at the centre of this global plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, and is a touchstone of UIL’s approach. Of the Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UIL has special responsibility for supporting countries to achieve SDG 4: to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.

We are also committed to realizing the potential contribution of lifelong learning to the other 16 SDGs. In today’s fast-changing world, where demographic, technological and environmental changes are reshaping social, economic and political contexts, we believe learning must be continuous and lifelong, for everyone.