UNESCO and the European Union:

Partenering towards Common Goals

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UNESCO and the European Union are close and natural partners

Working towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we join efforts to create lasting peace and prosperity for people and the planet. Together, we safeguard cultural heritage, promote an inclusive and equitable quality education for all, foster freedom of expression and pluralistic media, help countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change, empower citizens with new livelihood opportunities, including job creation, and develop a safe and secure water sector in Africa.

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UNESCO is the custodian of international standards to safeguard heritage and promote creativity and diversity. Together, UNESCO and the European Union form a strong alliance that fosters resilience, social cohesion and sustainable development through culture.


Education is a human right for all throughout life and access must be matched by quality. UNESCO is responsible for coordinating the international community to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. Together with the European Union, we foster girls and women’s education, skills adapted to a changing world, education of migrants and refugees, strengthen education systems and carry out research and prospective studies to improve evidence-based planning and decision-making for the future of education.

Climate change and environment

Climate change is the main cause of biodiversity change, and has the most rapid increase in negative impacts on the environment and society. UNESCO equip countries and people around the world with the necessary tools for a better understanding of climate change, which in turn helps communities to mitigate and adapt to its effects.

Freedom of expression

A free flow of ideas by word and image is a crucial pillar that supports independent and pluralistic media, contributing to peace, sustainability, poverty eradication, and human rights. Together, UNESCO and the European Union empower the media to act professionally and citizens to think critically and make well-informed choices.

Responding to Crisis

UNESCO believes in the positive contribution of education, culture, communication, and the sciences to build lasting peace. Together with the European Union, we create the foundations for sustainable recovery and long-term development by providing access to quality education and relevant training to crisis-affected children and youth, increasing capacities of cultural institutions and protecting cultural heritage at risk.


The United Nations define “youth” as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years. Youth accounts for 16% of the global population and represents a generation with the creativity and potential to make change happen. UNESCO and the European Union support youth to work together, drive social innovation, promote sustainable development and foster a culture of peace.

Gender Equality Priority

Women and men have the right to enjoy equal opportunities, choices, capabilities, power and knowledge as equal citizens. Therefore, UNESCO and the European Union promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in our joint actions to eradicate gender-based discrimination in all of its forms.

Africa Priority

Africa is evolving at an extraordinary rate. This creates opportunities and challenges such as rapid urbanization, explosive population growth, youth unemployment and a changing. UNESCO and the European Union are committed to peace and sustainable development in Africa. With targeted actions and by joining forces with local communities, civil society, educational institutions and governments; UNESCO builds capacities and partners with people on the continent to become agents of change for the present and future challenges.

Quality Education
Climate change and environment
Freedom of expression
Responding to Crisis
Gender equality