The Executive Board of Unesco has approved India's proposal to set up a Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development as UNESCO Category I Institute in Delhi.
This would be the first Category-I Institute of Unesco to be established in the Asia Pacific region. At present, there are eleven Unesco Category-I institutes and except three of them, all are located in developed countries and none is located in Asia.
The proposal to set up the institute as Unesco Category I Institute was submitted to Unesco earlier this year. This proposal resonates with Unesco's aims and objectives enshrined in its Constitution and mandate of building the defences of peace in the minds of men.
Category I institutes and centres are integral part of Unesco and its governing bodies are either elected by the General Conference or appointed in whole or part by the Director General, Unesco and report to the General Conference.
These are governed by Unesco's rules and regulations and are an integral part of the organisation's programme and budget. These institutes are designed to serve as centres of excellence and expertise in the area of specialisation to Members States and to contribute to Unesco's programmes, objectives and strategies. Having an UNESCO Category I institute is considered to be an honour for any country.
The proposal will be formally approved by the General Conference of Unesco in its 35th Session, which is going to be held from October 6 to 23, 2009.