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The Canadian Commission for UNESCO actively advances UNESCO’s mandate to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, the natural, social and human sciences, culture and communication and information. It was established in 1957 as an independent division within the Canada Council for the Arts. The Commission works as an autonomous forum of consultation and reflection to encourage and motivate governments, individuals and organizations at all levels of society to participate in and contribute to UNESCO’s work in its mandated fields.
The Commission’s arm’s length relationship to government and its broadly based and diverse membership makes it unique among the National Commissions. The Commission has an extensive network of approximately 400 members across the country which includes federal departments and agencies, intergovernmental bodies which represent the provinces and territories, non-governmental organizations, institutions and individual members. Through these connections, the Commission works to assist the government in defining the directions this country will follow as it faces the challenges of globalization and a rapidly changing knowledge society.
Many of UNESCO’s programmes and activities benefit from extensive Canadian expertise in the areas of education, the natural, social and human sciences, culture and communication and information. Canada’s close involvement with UNESCO provides an ongoing resource for information and reflection on the Organization’s key areas of concern. Canada’s active membership in UNESCO plays a major role in promoting Canadian values and objectives on the international stage, reinforcing the ideals of justice, equality and human dignity.
For more information on UNESCO’s National Commissions please visit the Communities Section of the UNESCO web site.