Founded in 1945, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations Organization (UN) with its Headquarter in Paris, France. As a multi-lateral organization, it federates 195 States and nine Associate Members all over the world.
Two world wars demonstrated that it is not enough to build peace by political and economic treaties. More precisely, “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed”.
UNESCO’s main aim is to contribute to peace building, poverty eradication, sustainable develop-ment and intercultural dialogue through education, natural and social sciences, culture, communica-tion and information.
The UNESCO Secretariat, which is headed by the Director General Irina Bokova, implements the decisions made by the UNESCO General Confer-ence and the Executive Board.
The General Conference occurs every two years to establish UNESCO’s goals and priorities as well as to set up available budgets. The second body, the Executive Board, meets twice a year to follow up programme implementations.
Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO (SLNCU)
Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO (SLNCU) is the government arm of implementing UNESCO Agenda in Sri Lanka. This Commission established on 14th November 1949, comes under the Ministry of Education and is chaired by the Hon. Minister of Education. The Secretary of the Ministry of Education functions as the Vice Chairman and the Secretary General is the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission. There are 35 members in the General Assembly, including representatives of relevant ministries and national bodies concerned with UNESCO’s fields of competence. Main thrust areas of the Commission are Education, Sciences, Culture and Communication.