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What is the main function of UNESCO?

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Quick Answer

As its name suggests, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has numerous primary functions supporting its main objective. UNESCO’s main objective is a lasting peace based on humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.

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Full Answer

Achieving this solidarity requires building networks between nations. According to UNESCO’s website, there are four primary functions by which it works to build a global network among nations. Its first function is mobilizing for education to ensure that every child, boy or girl, has access to a quality education. This is viewed not only as a basic human right, but also as a necessary step for human development.

The second focus is building intercultural understanding through the protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity. For example, UNESCO’s World Heritage sites promote the idea of places with universal value. Third is pursuing scientific cooperation by, for example, promoting the creation and use of early-warning systems for tsunamis. Fourth is the protection of freedom of expression, which the organization views as a crucial condition for democracy, development and human dignity.

UNESCO performs these functions with the aim of promoting universal respect for the rule of law and for human rights and freedoms without distinction of race, sex, language or religion. The organization's objective and primary functions demonstrate its belief that political and economic agreements are not enough to foster peace among nations. For this reason, UNESCO is often considered the intellectual agency of the UN, a role it has performed since 1945.

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