UNESCO

Maya Gabeira

Brazilian Big Wave surfer Maya Gabeira is UNESCO's newest goodwill ambassador, appointed to the position of “UNESCO Champion for the Ocean and Youth.”

woman painting

The war in Ukraine has led to the sudden suspension of usual cultural life in Ukraine: Most artists lost their revenue stream, while art collections are threatened. This situation seriously impacts cultural diversity. UNESCO will provide financial support to Ukrainian artists to support the continuation of artistic creation and access to cultural life, under a pilot programme launched by the Organization in partnership with the Ukrainian NGO Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

UNESCO helps strengthen the cultural and creative industries and promotes South-South cooperation to support developing countries to: design, adapt and/or implement regulatory frameworks for the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs); strengthen skills and; and create peer-to-peer mechanisms.

A video announcing this year’s laureate of the only UN prize dedicated to journalism. When others back down, journalists seek the truth and uncover facts. The prize honours those who stand up to protect your freedom.

A bullet-proof vests that read “Press” on a chair

UNESCO is supporting journalists in Ukraine by establishing a hotline for journalists in need, translating a manual on journalists’ safety, and providing protective equipment and training. A mission of a team of two UNESCO experts took place on 21-22 April was also designed to assess the needs of journalists in Ukraine and suggest ways they could be met. With over 5000 journalists accredited to cover the frontlines, training on reporting in high-risk environments, trauma journalism and psychosocial support, was identified as an important priority by the UNESCO mission.

Girls in a classroom

An annual UNESCO gender report, analysing data from 120 countries in primary and secondary education, shows that in the early years, boys perform better than girls in mathematics but, this gender gap disappears later. This research confirms that the gender gap in learning has closed even in the poorest countries. And in some countries, the gap is now reversed. However, biases and stereotypes are still likely to affect learning outcomes. Boys are still far more likely to be overrepresented among the highest performers in mathematics in all countries.

coral reef and fish

UNESCO World Heritage coral reefs cover over half a million km2 worldwide – the equivalent of the size of France – exhibiting exceptional biodiversity. They play a critical role in absorbing carbon emissions and protect coastlines from storms and erosion. Over a hundred indigenous communities are directly dependent on them for their subsistence. But the scientific data concerning these coral reefs is now very alarming. Reefs are bleaching far more rapidly than the initial science suggested, making them highly vulnerable to starvation and disease.

A woman sits inside a booth facing the floor of the General Assembly.

UNESCO interviews Lama Azab, a French and Arabic interpreter at UN headquarters in New York since 2016. Impartiality and the ability to adapt are essential qualities for this demanding job.

mud volcanoes

In Romania, the hilly and mountainous territory of the Buzău Land UNESCO Global Geopark is one of the 8 new designations. One of the most geodynamically active areas in Europe, the geopark exhibits 40 million years of geological history. Over this period, it ectonic movements pushed up mountains and transformed a deep-sea environment into a terrestrial one. Its rich geodiversity has influenced a unique cultural heritage with local legends in which mud volcanoes (shown here) become dragons, mud boilers are traps made by giants to catch cattle, and the future can be predicted by looking through a lens of amber. 

Children sit at desks in a classroom

After one month of war, more than 733 educational institutions were damaged or destroyed. UNESCO is in permanent contact with the local authorities to protect and restore education in the country.

water in a cave

Groundwater accounts for 99% of all liquid freshwater on Earth. However, this natural resource is often poorly understood and consequently undervalued, mismanaged and even abused. According to a report published by UNESCO, the vast potential of groundwater, and the need to manage it sustainably, can no longer be overlooked. Globally, water use is projected to grow by roughly 1% per year over the next 30 years. Our overall dependence on groundwater is expected to rise as surface water availability becomes increasingly limited due to climate change.

A woman speaks on a mike on stage.

After launching ‘African Folktales, Reimagined, the ground-breaking competition to find some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s up and coming filmmakers, Netflix and UNESCO announce the six winners.

A white building with green and gold domes.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, UNESCO has taken action to protect culture. The first challenge is to mark cultural heritage sites and monuments as protected.

In this video, the Oscar-winning filmmaker Luc Jaquet shares with us his passion for nature conservation, his love for the frozen landscape of Antartica, and how his life changed when he started filming the emblematic Emperor penguins. Luc Jaquet shares this intimate testament in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme and reminds us of the importance of tightening and conserving the links that bind human beings to nature.

When we vote, we're not just choosing a leader, a lawmaker, our local councillor or between two opposite policies. We're shaping the policies that have real impact in our lives. But, who should ensure that citizens receive accurate information? The media, political parties and electoral regulators have a role to play. Because when information is accurate, extensive and available, our elections remain free and fair, and democracy thrives. Learn more about how UNESCO protects freedom of expression and the safety of journalists.