The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is the expression of the will of redemption from the wreckage of two world wars. Here are the first words of its Constitution in 1945:
“since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed; ignorance of each other’s ways and lives has been a common cause, throughout the history of mankind, of that suspicion and mistrust between the peoples of the world. The wide diffusion of culture, and the education of humanity for justice and liberty and peace are indispensable to the dignity of man.”
UNESCO is responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. It strengthens the ties between nations and societies, groups and individuals, and mobilizes the wider public so that each child and citizen:
- has access to quality education; a basic human right and an indispensable prerequisite for sustainable development;
- may grow and live in a cultural environment rich in diversity and dialogue, where heritage serves as a bridge between generations and peoples;
- can fully benefit from scientific advances;
- and can enjoy full freedom of expression; the basis of democracy, development and human dignity.
UNESCO’s messages are of increasing importance today, in a globalized world where interconnections and diversity must serve as opportunities to build peace in the minds of men and women.