UNESCO Office in Islamabad



Areas of support: Right to Education, Promotion of Science, Disaster Risk Reduction, Cultural Heritage Promotion and Safeguarding, Freedom of Expression and Press Freedom, Journalists Safety, Human Security, Mainstreaming Human Rights, Gender and Peace.

Education Sector

Mobilizing for Education: so that every child, boy or girl, has access to quality education as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development.

Right to Free Education: Education is a key priority for UNESCO Pakistan. It is fundamental to developing sustainable, democratic societies.

Policy and up-stream work, advocacy and awareness raising, and capacity building of all stakeholders are the major functional areas of UNESCO. UNESCO Islamabad Office works closely with the government, parliamentarians, media, civil society, parents and communities. UNESCO's Global Monitoring Reports and support to celebration of EFA week contribute to the overall efforts of advancing the agenda of Right to Free Education in the Country. To support Girls Right to Education in Pakistan, UNESCO signed Malala Funds-in-Trust Agreement with Government of Pakistan in 2014. In this context, UNESCO is implementing the overarching programme "Support to national capacity building to realize girls' right to education in Pakistan". The Programme focuses on developing and strengthening the local institutional and organizational capacities in designing, implementing, and monitoring interventions for promoting girls' education that are well focused and targeted, but also creative and innovative, in both formal and non-formal settings.

Science Sector

Pursuing scientific cooperation: such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements, to strengthen ties between nations and societies

UNESCO Science Sector is working closely with Government of Pakistan to implement different initiatives including strategic Strengthening of Flood Warning and Management Capacity of Pakistan which included capacity building of national authorities particularly Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD), SUPARCO, and NDMA in reliable flood forecasting and information dissemination. UNESCO also promotes engineering qualification standardization in Pakistan. The organization also works in introducing the latest water management techniques in the arid areas and DRR awareness raising in Balochistan, supporting the MAB Programme activities in the country and promoting the popularization of science.

Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB): UNESCO's MAB programme is an Intergovernmental Scientific Programme that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments. MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable. UNESCO Islamabad Office is supporting the MAB activities in the country. National MAB Committee of Pakistan has been formulated and MAB Secretariat is in place. In result, in 2013 Ziarat Juniper Biosphere Reserve has been included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by the MAB ICC. 5th and 6th South and Central Asia MAB Network meetings were held consecutively in 2013 and 2014 in Islamabad.

Popularization of Science: Science education is very important for the school level children. The lack of proper science laboratories in schools in the far flung and economically deprived areas is found in many areas of Pakistan. UNESCO is supporting the popularization of science in these areas in partnership with Pakistan Science Foundation's Science Caravan Unit.

Culture Sector

Building intercultural understanding: through protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity. UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal value.

Heritage: UNESCO Islamabad Office in collaboration with Government of Pakistan and other local partners works to safeguard the country's rich heritage with an aim to contribute to promote cultural diversity, peace and sustainable development as well as reducing poverty. Major areas under this sector are conservation of archaeological site and monuments, promotion of cultural industries and heritage education. Through a number of conservation projects, the sector has been complementing Government efforts to safeguard the World Heritage and other sites of national importance and contribute to protect the Outstanding Universal Value of cultural heritage for future generations. The Sector is taking a number of awareness raising and capacity building initiatives at institutional and gross-root level for effective implementation of the cultural conventions, notably 1972 Convention on the protection of World heritage and 2003 Convention on safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and acknowledging the role of culture in promoting peace, creativity and development.

Communication & Information

Protecting freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity.

Communication, information and knowledge are at the core of human progress and development. Recognizing in the powers of communication, the main focus for UNESCO's work in Pakistan are promoting an enabling environment for freedom of expression, press freedom and journalistic safety including through the commemoration of World Press Freedom Day (3 May), International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) and by contributing to national efforts to raise awareness through advocacy for the protection of journalists by coordinating the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

Other area of UNESCO Islamabad Office in Pakistan includes is the promotion of media pluralism and development, including the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) by providing safety and security training to journalists in rural areas of Pakistan. The organization is also working to promote the development of free, independent and pluralistic media including through World Radio Day Celebrations (13 February) and work with community media. UNESCO is also working for enabling universal access and preservation of information and knowledge platforms and ICTS for sustainable development for marginalized groups including for persons with disabilities.

Human Security (Inter Agency-Inter Sect oral Programme)

UNESCO Islamabad Office together with WHO and UNDP is implementing a human security project to improve human security through improving socio economic conditions in D.I. Khan. The project focuses on emerging needs in the area such as in education, health, water, peace and social cohesion through mobilization and participation of the local community. Three UN agencies are working in one Union Council of D.I. Khan to establish a successful model for replication.