The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded on 16 November 1945. As a United Nations agency, UNESCO aims to spread peace by establishing conditions for genuine dialogue based on respect for shared values and for the dignity of all civilizations and cultures.
UNESCO deploys its action in the fields of education, natural sciences, social sciences, the arts, culture, communication and information. The agency leads international efforts to protect cultural diversity and tangible and intangible heritage. The organization works to safeguard and promote respect for the original character of every culture without depriving any other culture of the same. UNESCO and its partners face the challenge of stimulating the involvement of different cultures in a common approach to broaden their outlook beyond their own specific views, thus leading them towards a world of mutual interaction and mutual dependence. To complete its goals, UNESCO encourages the identification, protection, and preservation of cultural and natural heritage all over the world and the broader dissemination of oral and intangible heritage. These goals are summarized in international documents including the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
In November 2009, Mrs. Irina Bokova became Director-General of UNESCO.