Unesco Chair

Unesco Chair
Unesco Chair on “Human Rights, International Cooperation and Sustainable Development”
The Bergamo UNESCO Chair, established in 2003, is part of the UNITWIN (University Twinning and Networking) UNESCO Chairs programme, which involves over 850 institutions in 120 countries, promoting international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through the sharing of knowledge and collaborative work. The programme supports the creation of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO's fields of expertise: education, natural and social sciences, culture and communication.

Strategic objectives:

  1. Ensure equitable and inclusive high-quality education and increase lifelong learning opportunities for all to reduce inequalities and promote creative societies in the digital age.
  2. Support the establishment of sustainable societies that promote environmental protection, through the dissemination of science, technology, innovation and knowledge of the natural heritage.
  3. Build inclusive, just and peaceful societies by promoting freedom of expression, cultural diversity, global citizenship education and heritage preservation.
Thematic Areas and Strategic Lines

The UNESCO Chair focuses on two thematic areas, each of which has three strategic strands, strongly connected with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)-https://unric.org/it/agenda-2030/

Topic Area 1: "People, Institutions and Partnerships"
The main purpose of Area 1 is to strengthen international cooperation and inter-university partnerships with the aim of promoting education for sustainable development, democracy and peace.

Strategic Lines:

  1. Education for Sustainable Development (SDG 4): Educational programmes, focused on sustainable practices, aimed at students and local actors;
  2. Peace and Democracy (SDG 16): Training initiatives aimed at creating a peaceful and just societies, addressed to students and professors from conflict-affected areas of the world.
  3. Partnerships for Development (SDG 17): Interuniversity collaboration activities on an international scale, aligned with the priorities of the Chair, involving public and private, profit and no-profit institutions.

Topic Area 2: “Sustainable and Inclusive Transformation" 
The main purpose of Area 2 is to promote an inclusive society with sustainable cities and territories, and contribute to an industrial transformation that is competitive, clean, and fair.

Strategic Lines:

  1. Inclusive Society (SDG 1,2,3,4,5,10): Research and training in the field of development cooperation and migration involving international, national, and local institutions.
  2. Sustainable Cities and Territories (SDG 6,7,8,9,11,12,13,14,15): Development of 'best practices' for enhancing the sustainability of territories and cities in collaboration with public and private institutions, profit and non-profit.
  3. Industrial Transformation and "Just Transition" (SDG 8,9,12): Studies, research, and support activities for institutions in policy-making, aimed at transforming the industrial fabric toward more sustainable and inclusive models.
Scientific Committee

UNESCO Chairholder
Prof. Alberto Brugnoli

Full Professor in Applied Economics, UNESCO Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair on “Human Rights, International Cooperation and Sustainable Development”, Deputy Chancellor for International Development Cooperation and President of the Master's Degree Program in Human Rights, Migration and International Cooperation at the University of Bergamo. Research interests are in the fields of International Development Cooperation, Sustainable Development, Local Development, Regional Governance and Policy, Migration, Municipal Financing, Policy Analysis and Evaluation, Trade and Foreign Direct Investments.

Scientific Committee
To be appointed


The UNESCO Chair on “Human Rights and Ethics and International Cooperation” at the University of Bergamo was established in 2003 and was the fourth UNESCO Chair in Italy. Since its institution, the Chair has been involving all local and national stakeholders encouraging an international cooperation based on human rights, considering the framework of global challenges. Over the years, the Chair has developed its activities to support capacity building, research, development of projects and collaborating with different actors to enable international cooperation from a local and global perspective.

Since its creation, the Chair has carried out different discussion panels, meetings, conferences, and projects, strengthening its cooperation with Italian institutions, universities, and international actors, focusing on cooperation, education and migration, analyzing in depth topics on international cooperation, democracy and human rights, mainly through dedicated researchers and projects. In this framework, the Chair organize different activities and initiative with international stakeholders on Sustainable Development Goals.

Finally, the Chair has been actively involved in the field of training providing essential knowledge on human rights and international cooperation. It supported the University of Bergamo Master’s Degree Program in “Human Rights and International Cooperation Ethic” and, the PhD in “Intercultural Humanistic Studies”, and finance as scholarships and organize Summer Schools. In 2021, with the aim to response better to UN 2030 Agenda, the UNESCO Chair was renamed as UNESCO Chair on “Human Rights, International Cooperation and Sustainable Development”.

The urgent global challenges faced by the UN 2030 Agenda, the UNESCO GAP and the strong evolution of the city-region of Bergamo with its University lead us to programme the next activities of the UNESCO Chair within the new horizons of the human rights, international cooperation and sustainable development. This modern perspective integrates the social, environmental, and economic dimensions, in the activities of the Chair. The new title of the Chair explicitly considers that “[...] human rights principles and standards are now strongly reflected in an ambitious new global development framework, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.