Performance report for four years & a half of Pakistan National Commission for UNESCO-PNCU


UNESCO - Introduction

            The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, was established on November 4, 1946. Its main objective is to contribute for promotion of peace and security through collaboration among nations in its fields of competency (education, science, information, communication and culture).  Thus universal respect for justice, rule of law and human rights and fundamental freedoms is strengthened.  This process promotes fraternity     among the peoples of the world minimizing discrimination of caste, colour, creed, gender, language or religion as defined in the Charter of the United Nations.  The UNESCO creates favourable environment, put forward ideas, transfer knowledge and mobilize know-how, goodwill and, wherever possible, resources. At present 195 countries are members of UNESCO.



Pakistan joined UNESCO on September 14, 1949. A Section was setup in the Ministry of Education in 1950 for liaison with UNESCO. The PNCU was established on July 1, 1985; as an autonomous body through the Resolution of November 1984 under the Ministry of Education (devolved). The PNCU became as a Sub-ordinate Office of Ministry of Education since December 29, 2004, in terms of Supreme Court of Pakistan judgment. As such the organizations established through Resolution were deemed to be sub-ordinate offices as defined in Rule 2(1) (XX) of Rules of Business 1973, if within the stipulated period no legislation/Act of Parliament was passed by all such autonomous departments. After 18th Amendment in the Constitution, PNCU was initially transferred to Economic Affairs Division in April 2011 and recently to the Ministry of Professional & Technical Training renamed as Ministry of Education and Trainings w.e.f June 08, 2012.


§  Implementation of UNESCO/ ISESCO Programmes in Pakistan.

§  Coordination between Govt. of Pakistan, UNESCO/ISESCO and National Commissions of other Member States.

§  Consultation with the Government for the implementation of Programmes of UNESCO, ISESCO and other related agencies in Pakistan and abroad.

§  Promoting UNESCO's/ISESCO’s objectives to ensure Pakistan's national interests through intellectual contributions.


The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ‑ISESCO‑ was set up upon the adoption of its Statute by the Eleventh Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, meeting in Islamabad, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, in May 1980. The Third Islamic Summit Conference, held in Makkah Al‑Mukarramah and Taef, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, decided, in January 1981, to set up the Islamic Organization ‑ISESCO‑. The Founding Conference of ISESCO was then held in Fez, Kingdom of Morocco, on 8‑12 Rajab 1402A.H/2‑6 May 1982.

It is one of the largest international Islamic organizations and specializes in the fields of education, science and culture. Pakistan becomes member of ISESCO in 1982. Fifty Islamic countries are the members of ISESCO including Pakistan.

Following are the salient points of performance of PNCU:

Events – 2008 – 2012

UNESCO Executive Board

Meets twice a year, Ms. Shahnaz Wazir Ali, SAPM on Social Sector/Pakistan’s Representative on UNESCO Executive Board participate in both the sessions bi-annually. The total Members of UNESCO Executive Board are 58 including Pakistan.

UNESCO General Conference:

A high level delegation headed by Federal Minister with four Members from the users Ministries i.e. Education, Science and Culture participated in two UNESCO General Conferences held on October 2009 and 2011 in UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France, it is held after every two years.

Achievement during 35th Session of UNESCO General Conference 2009

Pakistan elected as:

·         Member of the Council of International Bureau of Education (IBE), for four years from 2009-2013.

·         Member of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) for four years from 2009-2013.

Pakistan's Achievement during 36th Session of UNESCO General Conference at Paris in 2011:

  • One of the six Vice Presidents of 36th Session of the General Conference, from Asia Pacific Region.
  • One of the 58 Members of UNESCO Executive Board for another four year’s term (2011-2015)
  • One of the 36 Members of Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological programme (IHP) for another two years.
  • One of the 28 Members of the International Bureau of Education (IBE) for two years.
  • One of the Members of Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC) for two years.
  • One of the Members of Adhoc Working Group of the Executive Board for two years.
  • One of the Members of NGO Committee for two years.
  • One of the three Members alongwith Italy and Algeria for two years of Sub-Committee for UNESCO Staff Pension & Rules.

Establishment of UNESCO Chairs in Pakistan – 2008-2010:

Ø  Primary Education at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

Ø  UNESCO Chair in Integrated Mountain Education & Research/Conservation and Sustainable Watersheds Management at University of the Punjab, Lahore.

Ø  UNESCO Chair, Light for Health at Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Islamabad.

Ø  UNESCO Chair in the Conservation & Management of Historical Towns and Centers at National College of Arts, Lahore

Ø  UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Halophyte Utilization at University of Karachi.

Ø  UNESCO Chair on Awareness Raising Among Poor and Rural People for Improving the Quality of life through Science & Technology at Lahore College for Women University, Lahore

Ø  UNESCO Chair in Women, Science and Technology at Lahore College for Women University, Lahore.

Ø  Dr. Yasmeen Faiza Kazi, Professor (Microbiology), Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur has been selected by the ISESCO-HQs, Rabat for ISESCO Women Science Chair in Pakistan.

UNESCO UNEVOC Centres in Pakistan:

Dedicated to developing, improving, technical and vocational education and training in UNESCO's Member States. Its focus is on information exchange, networking and international cooperation.

Ø  National Institute of Science & Technical Education (NISTE)

Ø  Staff Training Institute (TEVTA Punjab)

Ø  The National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (NAVTEC)

UNESCO Events Coordinated by the PNCU:

Ø  The Education For All (EFA) Week is coordinated every year in April, throughout the country.

Ø  International Literacy Day is coordinated every year on 8 September throughout the country.

Ø  World Teachers’ Day is coordinated every year on 5 October.

Vice-Chairman of the UNESCO Appeals Board:

Ø  On a nomination made by the PNCU/Ministry of Education, Justice (Retd) Ali Nawaz Chohan was elected as Vice-Chairman of the UNESCO Appeals Board by the UNESCO Executive Board in September2009.

Visit of Director General, UNESCO to Pakistan:

  • Mrs. Irina BOKOVA, Director General UNESCO, visited Pakistan in 2010 to express solidarity with the flood disaster affected people in Pakistan.
  • She met with Prime Minister and other higher authorities. She had aerial view of flood affected areas, through the visit arranged by NDMA.
  • As a result UNESCO, approved US$ 50,000 to set up a Sub-regional Flood Early Warning System and Development of Regional Training Courses on Flood Disaster Risk Reduction.

ISESCO General Conference:

A high level delegation headed by Federal Minister with two Members from the users Ministries, usually participate in the General Conference of ISESCO held after every three years. The last General Conference was held on 1-2 December 2012 at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

ISESCO Executive Council:

The meeting of Executive Council held once a year, the worthy Secretary, Ministry of Education and Training as its Ex-officio Member or Representative from PNCU participate in the meeting. The last meeting was held on 27-29 November 2012 at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Appointment of Deputy Director General – ISESCO:

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Director, Planning, Higher Education Commission was elected as Deputy Director General-ISESCO, Rabat, for three year term from January 1, 2011 – December 31, 2013 during 31st Session of ISESCO Executive Council in 2010.


UNESCO Fellowship Programme in support of Programme Priorities 2008-09

One candidate from Pakistan was awarded this fellowship for post-graduate study in the field of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA.

UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize 2009 for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence

It was conferred jointly on the following two social activists, comprised of US$ 50,000/- for each, certificate and free round trip to Paris with family members:

•       Mr.Abadul Sattar Edhi, Pakistan

•       Mr. Francois Houtart, Belgium

This is a unique honour for Pakistan. The award ceremony was held on 16 November 2009 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.

2010 UNESCO/ Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights:

Consisting of US$25,000, a diploma and the bronze trophy, was awarded to Ms. Asma Jahangir Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, President Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and human rights activist on Human Rights Day 2010, in the city of Bilbao, Spain by the DG, UNESCO.

2010 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation:

Award of distinction to Mr.Salman Baig, from Agha Khan Cultural Services of Pakistan for preservation of 331 years old Gulab Pur Khanqah, District Shigar, Gilgit-Baltistan, as a cultural heritage.  It is a center of local social, cultural, religious activities.

Commemorative Medal on Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission –IOC:

A Commemorative Medal on Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission –IOC was awarded to Dr. S.M. Haq,   Ex-DG, NIO, Karachi in the 26th Session of the IOC Assembly in Paris on 22 June, 2011. 

Vice-President of UN-World Meteorological Organization-WMO Asia-Region:

Dr. Qamar Zaman Ch. Adviser Climate Affairs, Ministry of Defense has been reelected as Vice President of WMO for next four years 2013-2016 election held during 15th Regional Session of WMO, in Doha, Qatar from 13-19 Dec, 2012.

UNESCO Confucius Literacy Prize 2011:

The prize was awarded in New Delhi India on 08th September 2011 during the International Literacy Day Ceremony to Dr. Allah Bukhsh Malik, Former Secretary Literacy and Education Department, Government of Punjab, Lahore.

Out of Pakistani and other scholars from other 49 ISESCO Member States,   Prof. Dr. Tasawar Hayat, Department of Mathematics, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad has been selected as one of the winner of “ISESCO Prizes in Science and Technology 2012. He got prize in Mathematics consisting of a Certificate, a gold medal and a cash award of US$5000.


Civil Award:


Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Former Pakistan’s Representative of UNESCO Executive Board/MNA has been awarded Civil Award, 2012 on her contribution to UNESCO.


UN-World Meteorological Organization-WMO Asia-Region:

Veteran Met scientist and former head of Met office Pakistan, Dr. Qamar Zaman Ch. Adviser Climate Affairs, Ministry of Defense has been re-elected as Vice President of World Meteorological Organization for next four years 2013-2016 Elections held during 15th Regional Session of WMO, in Doha, Qatar from 13-19 Dec, 2012.



Mitsubishi Asian Children’s Enikki Festa Art Competition:

Enikki Festa is the illustrated diary that portrays daily events and thoughts in the form of a picture and short narration. Children from Twenty four countries of Asia and Pacific participated in the competition biennial. In Pakistan, Public, Private and UNESCO ASPnet schools compete for the following awards:-

            1.         Grand Prix Award                               One

            2.         Mitsubishi PAC Award                                    One

            3.         NFUAJ Award                                      One

            4.         Excellence Award                               four

The Selected diaries are forwarded to National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan for their consideration and award.



The following fellowships are awarded for advance studies on various subjects for UNESCO Member States.


a.      UNESCO Poland Fellowships on world wide open merit (22 slots).

b.      China Great Wall Fellowships on world wide open merit (25 slots).



UNESCO provides funds for about 10 projects for each biennium against national, sub-regional/regional programmes to each Member State through its National Commissions for Federal, Provincial Departments including NGOs, with following allocation limit:

National                               =             US$ 26,000 (Maximum)

Sub-regional                      =             US$ 35,000 (Maximum)

Regional                               =             US$ 46,000 (Maximum)


UNESCO Assistance for training the Archaeology experts in Pakistan:

As per commitment with Pakistan and agreement with Department of Archaeology and Museums (DOAM), Islamabad UNESCO released sum of US$ 26,932/- to impart training to Archaeology experts in Pakistan to enable them properly prepare nomination dossiers of historical and ancient sits of Pakistan for placing on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Flood Assistance by UNESCO:

For financial assistance through agreement, the following projects are under submission since October 2012, after damage by the floods and rains:

o   Emergency Assistance for Archaeological Ruins at Moehnjodaro, Sindh (Costing US$ 1,012,000)

o   Conservation & Management Assistance and Technical Cooperation for the Tomb of Jam Nizamuddin at Makli Hill Monuments, Thatta (cost US$ 69,200)

o   Harrapa as an extension of archeological ruins of Moenjodaro (cost 10,300/-)

High-Level Advocacy Event: Stand up for Malala – Girls’ Education is a Right

The Government of Pakistan and UNESCO organized a high-level advocacy event in support of Girls’ Right to Education, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 10 December 2012. 




Coinciding with the United Nations Human Rights Day, the event was organized in solidarity with Malala Yousafzai, the young activist and girls’ education advocate from Pakistan, and in support of the right to education for millions of girls around the world. 

The President of Pakistan visited UNESCO-HQs. Paris TO attend the said event under the theme “Stand-up For Malala: Stand-up for Girls Education”.  It was the first ever visit of any Head of State from Pakistan to join ceremony and the first mega event of Pakistan as joint venture with UNESCO. He announced donation of US$ 10 million for a global “Malala Fund for Girls Education” which aims at raising world-wide donations, to schooling of all girls by 2015 in line with the United Nations Millennium goals.



The President assured the international community that Pakistan was committed to providing equal rights for education to boys and girls and urged the world community to extend support and cooperation for promoting education.

The event was within the overall Education for All frameworks, in line with the priorities of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Initiative on Education and UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education, the event brought together leaders and influential partners from a wide range of constituencies to make a collective commitment to end discrimination against girls and ensure respect for their right to education. 









Important Links

  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Culture & Heritage
  • Science & Technology
  • Human Development
  • Higher Education Commission


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