Overview of the Beirut Office

UNESCO's Beirut Office

©UNESCO /F.Al-Khateeb

The UNESCO Beirut Office was established in 1961 and since 2002, it has assumed two new roles within a global network of offices and bureaus:

  • Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States
  • Cluster office for Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories in the Middle East Cluster

As a Regional Bureau, the UNESCO Office in Beirut is a centre of expertise in the field of Education for the Arab world serving 19 Arab countries in the region in the field of Education. As a Cluster Office, its role is to implement UNESCO’s Biennial Programme by adapting the implementation of programs in its fields of competence to the specific characteristics of the Cluster countries, namely in the areas of Social and Human Sciences, Culture and Communication and Information.

UNESCO Beirut covers the Organization's five main areas of actions.


As a Regional Office, UNESCO Beirut's strategy in education is designed to support the region as it progresses towards the achievement of the SDG 4 Goal: Ensuring equitable quality and lifelong learning for all in the Arab States by 2030 and national education plans to respond to country-specific needs.

Social & Human Sciences

The Social and Human Sciences Sector supports the development of knowledge, standards and intellectual cooperation to facilitate social transformations based on the universal values of justice, freedom and human dignity.


The Culture Sector supports Lebanon through the safeguard and promotion of all forms of the country's heritage, be it built, movable or intangible. It has also scaled-up its interventions to mitigate the various threats to cultural heritage sites in Syria.

Communication & Information

UNESCO Beirut's work in the field of Communication and Information aims to foster free flow of ideas and universal access to information 





Beginning with its establishment in 1961 as the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States in Beirut the Office has been serving the Arab region and the member states of UNESCO.  The Arab States Center for Administration and Training of Education Personnel (ASCATEP) was founded in 1961 in Beirut (Resolution 1233 of the UNESCO General Conference) with the aim of training educational personnel within the Arab States in management and planning of Arab educational systems.

In 1972, within the framework of the decentralization policy, ASCATEP became UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States (UNEDBAS). During the war years in Lebanon, the Office was temporarily relocated to Cairo, Paris and Amman (1975-1991). It gradually re-opened in Beirut in 1992, where it is now officially located.

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