Since its creation in 1945, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) mission has been to contribute to the building of peace, poverty eradication, lasting development and intercultural dialogue. Jordan joined UNESCO on June 14th, 1950 and in 1986, Amman became the regional office for Education, Science and Communications. In 1996, UNESCO Amman was designated as a Regional Office for Culture and Communication and in the year 2000, it became a National Office.
UNESCO Amman strives to promote education in Jordan as a fundamental human right while aiming to provide access to quality education for all. Across Jordan, UNESCO is currently implementing comprehensive education programmes that sustain the resilience and support the effectiveness of the national education systems in mitigating the impact of the Syria crisis, particularly in the Jordanian host communities. The UNESCO Amman office focuses on assuring the quality of primary, secondary and higher education by integrating literacy, technical vocational training, ASPnet, HIV/AIDS, inclusive education and human rights themes UNESCO Amman’s strong relationship with the Jordanian Ministry of Education, government agencies and local and international NGOs facilitates UNESCO's success in project implementation.
The UNESCO Amman Natural Sciences Sector has identified water and related ecosystems as the principal priority. The main objective at country level is centered on capacity building, scientific research, technical assistance, policy advocacy, dissemination of best practices and awareness raising. The completion of International Centre for Synchrotron Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), spearheaded by UNESCO, will mark a major stepping stone for Jordan in the field of scientific research. Since 2014, due to a shortage of resources, UNESCO’s science program in Jordan has been temporarily suspended.
Positioned on the historical trade routes of the Middle-East, Jordan has been home to a mix of cultures and religions throughout time. The rich history of the country is represented by a large and varied archaeological heritage, testimony to the past civilizations that settled in the area. There are currently four sites in Jordan inscribed in the World Heritage List (Petra, Quseir Amra, Um er-Rasas, and the Wadi Rum Protected Area) and 15 properties that have been identified as potential candidates for inscription and are currently on the Tentative List. Jordan is also known for its intangible heritage, in particular the Bedouin pastoral tribal heritage. The importance of the traditions and way of life associated with the Bedouin tribes was recognized in 2008 when ‘The Cultural Space of the Bedu in Petra and Wadi Rum’ was added to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The UNESCO Amman Office supports Jordan in protecting sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and assists in improving the management of cultural objects. UNESCO is supporting disadvantaged rural women in Jordan to improve their livelihoods through an innovative formula that combines the promotion of cultural industries like natural dyes and traditional handcraft production with the creation of job opportunities using a gender equality lens.
Media development enhances freedom of expression, contributing to peace, sustainability, poverty eradication and the protection of human rights. Globally and nationally, UNESCO supports efforts to strengthen the capacity of the community media, while adopting a gender equity approach. In order to empower individuals as informed producers and consumers of information, UNESCO spearheads initiatives in media and information literacy and in journalism education.