Our role within UNESCO

Education is one of UNESCO’s main priorities. It is a basic human right and the foundation on which the organization seeks to build peace and drive sustainable development. UNESCO’s Education Sector provides global and regional leadership in education, strengthens national education systems and responds to contemporary global challenges through education, with a special focus on gender equality and Africa. The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning is one of seven UNESCO institutes worldwide.

As the United Nations’ specialized agency for education, UNESCO leads and coordinates the Education 2030 Agenda, which is part of a global movement to eradicate poverty in all its forms and to protect the planet from degradation by 2030 through the implementation of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Education, essential to the achievement of all of these goals, has its own dedicated goal, SDG 4, to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. The Education 2030 Framework for Action provides guidance for its implementation, stressing the relevance of lifelong learning to the achievement of targets in the areas of literacy, equality of opportunity, vocational and higher education, and global citizenship.

UNESCO’s three education objectives are set out in its Medium-Term Strategy for 2014–2021: developing education systems to foster quality lifelong learning opportunities for all; empowering learners to be creative and responsible global citizens; and shaping the future education agenda.

UIL is a global reference point and thought leader in lifelong learning for UNESCO Member States, linking research, policy and practice in lifelong learning to actively support and sustain peaceful, democratic, cohesive, equitable and sustainable learning societies. It represents the world’s most comprehensive network of policy-makers, researchers and practitioners in lifelong learning, and has unique experience in bringing people together to create a common understanding of the concept of lifelong learning throughout the world.