Conscious of the high priority, Member States assigned to human resources development and capacity building through the intellectual solidarity of human kind, UNESCO established the Fellowships Programme.
Education and intellectual solidarity was on the agenda of the international community since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and it was reconfirmed several times in International Conventions and conferences, especially in the Conference of Jomtien (Thailand) in 1990 and the Dakar International forum on Education for All in 2000.
As early as 1951, a programme to promote and develop youth exchange for educational purposes has existed in UNESCO. The Organization continued its action under the Fellowships Programme to respond to the needs of Member States in the field of human resources development and capacity building. This programme has up to date enabled more than 52,000 fellows from around the world to study in different countries contributing to intellectual solidarity, international cooperation and mutual understanding.
UNESCO’s mission being both educational and cultural, in the area of training it endeavours:
- To promote research related to training with a view to developing strategies for the enhancement of human resource capacities;
- To assist in establishing and operating institutions dedicated to training in all its fields of competence;
- To help countries to formulate national policies that will achieve capacity building and training goals;
- To stimulate debate on important topics related to training;
- To strengthen institutional capacity for training so that countries and regions can find their own paths to self-sufficiency rather than depend on imported expertise;
- To foster intercultural dialogue and cross-cultural understanding through innovative forms of training;
- To set international standards for capacity building; and,
- To provide linkages and networking facilities that may enhance the work of both individuals and institutions through resource sharing and community partnerships in training projects.