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The Unit­ed Nations Edu­ca­tion­al, Sci­en­tif­ic and Cul­tur­al Orga­ni­za­tion (French: ; UNESCO; ) is a spe­cial­ized agency of the Unit­ed Nations (UN). Its pur­pose is to con­tribute to peace and secu­ri­ty by pro­mot­ing inter­na­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tion through edu­ca­tion, sci­ence, and cul­ture in order to fur­ther uni­ver­sal respect for jus­tice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fun­da­men­tal free­dom pro­claimed in the Unit­ed Nations Char­ter. It is the heir of the League of Nations’ Inter­na­tion­al Com­mit­tee on Intel­lec­tu­al Coop­er­a­tion. UNESCO has 195 mem­ber states and nine asso­ciate mem­bers. Most of its field offices are “clus­ter” offices cov­er­ing three or more coun­tries; there are also nation­al and region­al offices. UNESCO pur­sues its objec­tives through five major pro­grams: edu­ca­tion, nat­ur­al sci­ences, social/human sci­ences, cul­ture, and communication/information. Projects spon­sored by UNESCO include lit­er­a­cy, tech­ni­cal, and teacher-train­ing pro­grammes; inter­na­tion­al sci­ence pro­grammes; the pro­mo­tion of inde­pen­dent media and free­dom of the press; region­al and cul­tur­al his­to­ry projects; the pro­mo­tion of cul­tur­al diver­si­ty; trans­la­tions of world lit­er­a­ture; inter­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion agree­ments to secure the world cul­tur­al and nat­ur­al her­itage (World Her­itage Sites) and to pre­serve human rights, and attempts to bridge the world­wide dig­i­tal divide. It is also a mem­ber of the Unit­ed Nations Devel­op­ment Group. UNESCO’s aim is “to con­tribute to the build­ing of peace, the erad­i­ca­tion of pover­ty, sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and inter­cul­tur­al dia­logue through edu­ca­tion, the sci­ences, cul­ture, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and infor­ma­tion”. Oth­er pri­or­i­ties of the orga­ni­za­tion include attain­ing qual­i­ty Edu­ca­tion For All and life­long learn­ing, address­ing emerg­ing social and eth­i­cal chal­lenges, fos­ter­ing cul­tur­al diver­si­ty, a cul­ture of peace and build­ing inclu­sive knowl­edge soci­eties through infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The broad goals and con­crete objec­tives of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty — as set out in the inter­na­tion­al­ly agreed devel­op­ment goals, includ­ing the Mil­len­ni­um Devel­op­ment Goals (MDG) — under­pin all UNESCO’s strate­gies and activities.