United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

7, place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP, France


UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It contributes to peace and security by promoting international cooperation in education, sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO promotes knowledge sharing and the free flow of ideas to accelerate mutual understanding and a more perfect knowledge of each other's lives. UNESCO's programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015. UNESCO is the lead agency for SDG 4: Quality Education. 


Following the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the ESD for 2030 was launched at the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in May 2021, with the aim of accelerating the implementation of ESD to deliver all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, with education fulfilling a key role.

The GAP is the follow up to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014).  IAU fully supported and contributed to the UN DESD and UNESCO GAP on ESD. IAU now is again a key partner in the ESD for 2030 Network and Greening Education Partnership

Contact for sustainable development activities

The ESD Section acts as the Secretariat for the ESD-Net 2030 and Greening Education Partnership. It offers coordination support to Member States, National Commissions, stakeholders, UNESCO programme and thematic areas, and UNESCO Field Offices while helping to ensure the coherence of organization-wide activities. Additionally, UNESCO convenes several ad hoc groups to participate in the implementation of ESD including the partner networks.

International Association of Universities, official partner of UNESCO (associate status)

International Association of Universities is a key partner Network to ESD and within the ESD for 2030 Network. 

Through its actions, initiatives and in particular through the creation of the IAU Global Portal on Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development  (www.iau-hesd.net) and the IAU HESD Cluster Network, IAU contributes to scaling up action and initiatives developed by higher education institutions, organisations and HE stakeholders from around the world in response to the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. 


News for this organisation

World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development 2014 Called for Renewed Commitment by all Countries

To mark the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and the beginning of the Post 2015 agenda activities, UNESCO and the Government of Japan held the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development - Learning Today for a Sustainable Future. The World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan, closed on November 12, 2014 with a declaration calling for urgent action to mainstream ESD and include ESD in the post-2015 development agenda. The Aichi-Nagoya Declaration calls on all nations to implement the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP) to move the ESD agenda forward.

Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development adopted at UNESCO ESD Conference (17-19 May 2021)

IAU applauds to the adoption and the strong call for engagement for ESD at all education levels, including Higher Education

UNESCO in action for gender equality: 2022-2023 Report

During the UNESCO General Conference, UNESCO launched a new report on gender equality. IAU was pleased to attend the launch event on 7 November 2023.

Greening Education Hub at COP 28 and related activities

Education and Higher Education at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) taking place in Dubai from 30 November -12 December 2023.

UNITWIN Network on ESD and Social Transformation (UNiESD&ST) launched

The newly launched network will foster sustainability learning with teacher education and capacity building

Documents of this Organisation

Events for this organisation