The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) promotes peace by encouraging international cooperation among its members states in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.
In March 2012 WOSM was elevated to Associate Status in partnership wtih UNESCO following a decision by its Executive Board. Prior to this World Scouting has enjoyed consultative status with UNESCO since 1970 and this official relationship facilitates the development of a variety of joint projects all over the world. In particular, World Scouting-UNESCO projects have focused on the themes of peace and diversity. Some examples of this cooperation in action can be found in the ongoing “Camping for Peace” program and the International Scout Gatherings for Culture Exchange (Egypt, 1998-2002).
Furthermore, as consequence of its official status, World Scouting has also participated in a number of UNESCO activities. Scouts from several countries attended as delegates the General Conference and Youth Forum in 2003 and WOSM regularly sends representatives to UNESCO's International Conferences on Education. UNESCO has also taken part in World Scouting activities; in 2002, the Director-General of UNESCO inaugurated the Global Development Village (GDV) at the 20th World Scout Jamboree in Thailand. UNESCO hosted several workshops and activities at the GDV, “Culture of Peace”, “Non Violent Resolution”, “Passage Rites”, “Communication” and “AIDS: Stigma and Discrimination.” In 2007, UNESCO was also present at the Centennial World Scout Jamboree in UK with several workshops at the GDV and a big presence at the Global Development Boulevard. Later in the same year, UNESCO gave financial support to the World Scientific Congress organised by WOSM in Geneva. Such support was continued in 2008 with the publication of the proceedings of the Congress. Through the new Associate Status granted in March 2012, WOSM and UNESCO are expected to have stronger collaboration and mutual support to help progress on areas of common interest.