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International Bureau of Education - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IBE-UNESCO)

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International Bureau of Education - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IBE-UNESCO)
15 route des Morillions, 1218 Grand-Saconnex
Geneva P.O Box 199, 121
Organization type: 
International Organisations

Established in Geneva in 1925, the International Bureau of Education (IBE-UNESCO) is the first ever intergovernmental organization in the field of education. The IBE was integrated into the UNESCO structures as a Category I Institute in 1969. The original mandate of the IBE was to serve as an international centre for education and as a knowledge broker fostering peace and international development.

Over the years, the core mandate of the IBE has changed with the climax reached in 2011 when the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference declared the IBE a Global Centre of Excellence in Curriculum and related matters. The current mandate of the IBE can succinctly be summarized as:

"Supporting Member States to establish and to sustain robust education and learning systems that are capable of equitable provision of quality and development-relevant education and lifelong learning systems for all.”

The current mandate and program areas of the IBE are particularly of significance and relevance to the Education 2030 and the fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4) that commit UNESCO Member States to "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all". The IBE is, therefore, strategically positioned to support Member States’ efforts for the optimal achievement of SDG4, and by implication, the realization of the other 16 SDGs that depend on provision and delivery of equitable and development- relevant quality education and lifelong learning opportunities.

The IBE is guided by the conviction that investing in development-responsive curriculum generates tangible human, social and economic benefits ensuring equal sustainable development among all Member States.[1] Our mission, therefore, is to bring support and innovative solutions to the challenges ministries of education and governments face in the complex task of improving quality and relevance of their curriculum, teaching, learning, and assessment processes and outcomes. To this end, our main focus programme areas include:

  • Innovation and Leadership (Norms and standard-setting function);
  • Current and critical Issues (Laboratory of ideas function);
  • Knowledge Creation and Management (Clearinghouse function);
  • Systemic Strengthening of Quality and Development capacities (Capacity builder function);
  • Leadership for Global Dialogue (Intellectual leadership function);
  • Institutional and Organizational Development (Capacity development function of the IBE).


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