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 117 countries, promoting international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. The programme supports the establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence: education, natural and social sciences, culture and communication.



UNESCO Chairs’ mission aims to co-create knowledge and generate innovation through research, in order to transfer information, apply advanced ideas in the local dimension and create sustainable solutions for today’s issues, contributing thus to the development of the society.


Thematic Areas and Strategic Lines

The UNESCO Chair proposes three thematic areas of intense activity, which are strongly intertwined: 1) UN 2030 Agenda and International Cooperation; 2) SDGs and Territorial Systems; 3) Sustainable Cities. They aim, on the one hand, to enhance the activities already carried out over the years by the Chair; on the other hand, to modernize the Chair framework, by contributing to systematically integrate sustainable development into the University's agenda and the territorial agents.

These thematic areas are developed in six strategic lines:

  • Human Rights and UN 2030 Agenda
  • International Cooperation
  • Human Rights and Territorializing SDGs
  • Territorial Systems and Multilevel Governance
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Sustainable Cities Financing
Call for applications - Students Professors Researchers from Ukraine
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”.