UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and standard setter to forge universal agreements on emerging development and ethical issues. It also serves as a clearinghouse for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge, while helping member states to build their human and institutional capacities.
UNESCO and Microsoft are working together to support the use of technology to transform education, reduce poverty and help address the digital divide. A particular area of focus for the partnership is supporting UNESCO's global Education for All (EFA) movement. EFA, led by UNESCO, aims to meet the personalized learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015. Microsoft is also partnering with UNESCO to establish Community Multimedia Centers and other initiatives such as local teaching curriculum through its Local Language Program, designed to lower the barriers of entry for first time computer users who are non-native English speakers.