United Nations Educational, Scientific And Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded on 16 November 1945. For this specialized United Nations agency, it is not enough to build classrooms in devastated countries or to publish scientific breakthroughs. Education, Social and Natural Science, Culture and Communication are the means to a far more ambitious goal : to build peace in the minds of men.

Today, UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues. The Organization also serves as a clearinghouse – for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge – while helping Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields. In short, UNESCO promotes international co-operation among its 190+ Member States and six Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. As of March 2005 UNESCO is working to create the conditions for genuine dialogue based upon respect for shared values and the dignity of each civilization and culture.

This role is critical, particularly in the face of terrorism, which constitutes an attack against humanity. The world urgently requires global visions of sustainable development based upon observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which lie at the heart of UNESCO’s mission and activities.
Through its strategies and activities, UNESCO is actively pursuing the Millennium Development
Goals, especially those aiming to:

  • halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty in developing countries by 2015
  • achieve universal primary education in all countries by 2015
  • eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2005
  • help countries implement a national strategy for sustainable development by 2005 to reverse current trends in the loss of environmental resources by 2015.
    WHO policy is made by its World Health Assembly. Which meets on an annual basis while its Executive Board meets twice a year. the Organization is divided into six regional organisations meeting once a year, each with its own Regional Director, Regional Committee and Regional office. The Secretariat is headed by the Director General and the Regional Directors, and consists of administrative and technical staff.


    The WHO acts as the directing and co-ordinating authority on international health work, striving to improve health conditions for all people, but in particular for the poorest. It assists governments by supplying knowledge, evidence based technical assistance and/or emergency aid, and by helping them to strengthen their health services and health policy. The Organization establishes international standards for food and biological, pharmaceutical and related products, whilst also proposing conventions, agreements, regulations and recommendations concerning international nomenclature of diseases, causes of death and public health practices.

    The Organization promotes and co-ordinates technical co-operation and biomedical and health service research throughout the medical world, and tries to improve standards of teaching and training in the health, medical and related fields.
    The WHO works on the prevention and control of epidemic, endemic and other diseases. The Organization (in co-operation with other agencies if necessary) also promotes improving environmental factors that influence health, through the improvement of nutrition, housing and sanitation, recreation, economic/working conditions, and other contributing factors.

    WHO’s objective is stated in the constitution as ‘the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health’. ‘Health’ is defined as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social will-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity’. In November 2001 WHO issued the International Classification of functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to act as an international standard and guide-lines for determining health and disability. WHO acts as the central authority directing international health word, and establishes relations with professional groups and government health authorities on that basis.

    It provides, on request from member states, technical and policy assistance in support of programmes to promote health, prevent and control health problems, control or eradicate disease, train health workers best suited to local needs and strengthen national health system. Aid is provided in emergencies and natural disasters. A global programme of collaborative research and exchange of scientific information is carried out in co-operation with about 1,200 national institutions. Particular stress is laid on the widespread communicable diseases of the tropics, and the courtiers directly concerned are assisted in developing their research capabilities.

    It keeps diseases and other health problems under constant surveillance, promotes the exchange of promote and accurate information and of notification of outbreaks of diseases, and administers the International Health Regulations. It sets standards for the quality control of drugs, vaccines and other substances affecting health. It formulates health regulations for international travel. It collects and disseminates health data and carries out statistical analyses and comparative studies in such diseases as cancer, heart disease and mental illness.

    It receives reports on drugs observed to have shown adverse reactions in any country, and transmits the information to other member states. It promotes improved environmental conditions, including housing, sanitation and working conditions. All available information on effects on human health of the pollutants in the environment is critically reviewed and published.

    Co-operation among scientists and professional groups is encouraged. The organization negotiates and sustains national and global partnerships. It may propose international conventions and agreements, and develops and promotes international norms and standards. The organization promotes the development and testing of new technologies, tools and guide-lines. It assists in developing an informed public opinion on matters of health.
    Health for All

    WHO’s first global strategy for pursing ‘Health for all’ was adopted in May 1981 by the 34th World Health Assembly. The objective of ‘Health for all’ was identified as the attainment by all citizens of the world of a level of health that would permit them to lead a socially and economically productive life, requiring fair distribution of available resources, universal access to essential health care, and the promotion of preventive health care.

    In May 1998 the 51st World Health Assembly renewed the initiative, adopting a global strategy in support of ‘Health for all in the 21st century’, to be effected through regional and national health policies. The new approach was to build on the primary health care approach of the initial strategy, but was to strengthen the emphasis on quality of life, equity in health and access to health services.
    The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world.

    The World Bank Group today comprises five closely associated institutions that collaborate to support development projects worldwide. These 5 Organizations are –

    Established 1945 IBRD aims to reduce poverty in middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries by promoting sustainable development through loans, guarantees, risk management products, and (non lending) analytical and advisory services. The income that IBRD has generated over the years has allowed it to fund development activities and to ensure its financial strength, which enables it to borrow in capital markets at low cost and offer clients good borrowing terms.
    Established 1960 Contributions to IDA enable the World Bank to provide approximately $8 billion to $9 billion a year in highly concessional financing to the world’s 81 poorest countries (home to 2.6 billion people). IDA’s interest-free credits and grants are vital because these countries have little or no capacity to borrow on market terms. In most of these countries, the great majority of people live on less than $2 a day. IDA’s resources help support country-led poverty reduction strategies in key policy areas, including raising productivity, providing accountable governance, building a healthy private investment climate, and improving access to education and health care for poor people.
    Established 1956 IFC promotes economic development through the private sector. Working with business partners, it invests in sustainable private enterprises in developing countries without accepting government guarantees. It provides equity, long-term loans, structured finance and risk management products, and technical assistance and advisory services to its clients. IFC seeks to reach businesses in regions and countries that have limited access to capital. It provides finance in markets deemed too risky by commercial investors in the absence of IFC participation and adds value to the projects it finances through its corporate governance, environmental, and social expertise.
    Established 1988 Concerns about investment environments and perceptions of political risk often inhibit foreign direct investment—a key driver of economic growth—in developing countries. MIGA addresses these concerns by providing political risk insurance (guarantees), offering investors protection against noncommercial risks such as expropriation, currency inconvertibility, breach of contract, war, and civil disturbance. MIGA also provides advisory services to help countries attract and retain foreign investment, mediates investment disputes to keep current investments intact and remove possible obstacles to future investment, and disseminates information on investment opportunities to the international business community.
    Established 1966 ICSID helps encourage foreign investment by providing international facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment disputes, thereby helping foster an atmosphere of mutual confidence between states and foreign investors. Many international agreements concerning investment refer to ICSID’s arbitration facilities. ICSID also conducts research and publishing activities in the areas of arbitration law and foreign investment law.

    A more detail on the constituents of the World Bank group is given below.


    The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) aims to reduce poverty in middle-income countries and creditworthy poorer countries by promoting sustainable development through loans, guarantees, risk management products, and analytical and advisory services. Established in 1944 as the original institution of the World Bank Group, IBRD is structured like a cooperative that is owned and operated for the benefit of its 188 member countries.

    IBRD raises most of its funds on the world’s financial markets and has become one of the most established borrowers since issuing its first bond in 1947. The income that IBRD has generated over the years has allowed it to fund development activities and to ensure its financial strength, which enables it to borrow at low cost and offer clients good borrowing terms.

    Founded in 1944 to help Europe recover from World War II, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is one of five institutions that make up the World Bank Group. IBRD is the part of the World Bank (IBRD/IDA) that works with middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries to promote sustainable, equitable and job-creating growth, reduce poverty and address issues of regional and global importance.

    Structured something like a cooperative, IBRD is owned and operated for the benefit of its 187 member countries. Delivering flexible, timely and tailored financial products, knowledge and technical services, and strategic advice helps its members achieve results. Through the World Bank Treasury, IBRD clients also have access to capital on favorable terms in larger volumes, with longer maturities, and in a more sustainable manner than world financial markets typically provide.
    Specifically, the IBRD:

  • supports long-term human and social development needs that private creditors do not finance;
  • preserves borrowers’ financial strength by providing support in crisis periods, which is when poor people are most adversely affected;
  • uses the leverage of financing to promote key policy and institutional reforms (such as safety net or anticorruption reforms);
  • creates a favorable investment climate in order to catalyze the provision of private capital;
  • provides financial support (in the form of grants made available from the IBRD’s net income) in areas that are critical to the well-being of poor people in all countries.
  • Middle-income countries, where 70 percent of the world’s poor live, have made profound improvements in economic management and governance over the past two decades and are rapidly increasing their demand for the strategic, intellectual and financial resources the World Bank has to offer. The challenge facing the IBRD is to better manage and deliver its resources to best meet the needs of these countries.
    To increase its impact in middle-income countries, IBRD is working closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other multilateral development banks. In the course of its work, IBRD is also striving to capitalize on middle-income countries’ own accumulated knowledge and development experiences and collaborates with foundations, civil society partners and donors in the development community.

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