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Within UNESCO's overall mandate "of building peace in the minds of people", the Social and Human Sciences Sector seeks to advance knowledge, standards and intellectual cooperation to facilitate social transformations where the values of justice, freedom and human dignity can be fully realized. In pursuit of this purpose, the Sector works under three main structuring lines:
- "Studying what is" --> promoting empirical research;
- "Anticipating what could be" --> promoting philosophical reflection and future-oriented studies; 
- "Determining what should be" --> developing and promoting international

standards in order to draw up recommendations for policies and action.

Drawing upon this overarching vision, the Regional Unit for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific (RUSHSAP) aims to develop and promote social policies that uphold peace, human rights, democratic governance and tolerance within the Asia Pacific region, with priority programmes in bioethics and the ethics of science and technology. This includes bioethics education, environmental ethics, implementing international ethics standards, and examining the ethics of emerging areas of science and technology. Attention is given to philosophical dialogues between different regions to rediscover their ethical and cultural values as they face modernity. The unit's focus areas also include human security and social development, promoting a culture of peace, poverty alleviation, migration, management of water resources, governance, youth, sports, dissemination of information, as well as research and training.

In an era of rapid globalization, RUSHSAP aims to develop and promote social policies which uphold peace, human rights, democratic and ethical governance and tolerance. To achieve this goal, social policy activities must provide opportunities and empowerment for all, particularly during this period of major social, political, economic and cultural change.

(This is the same text that is already on the “strategy” page) To achieve the objectives of the social and human science programme, approved biannually by UNESCO’s General Conference, RUSHSAP conducts research, training, workshops and seminars, advocacy and project development.

While recognizing the value of international treaties, global agreements and other “macro” solutions to meet the mission goals, RUSHSAP works with a range of partners at regional, sub-regional to micro-level. This requires practical action, in keeping with the ideals of an ethical society and the Culture of Peace, in the minds of every citizen.

RUSHSAP’s partners include the Social and Human Science (SHS) sector at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, and other units at UNESCO Bangkok, Thailand. RUSHSAP works with UNESCO field offices and national commissions in the Asia-Pacific region, along with governments, and various research institutions and networks. RUSHSAP also consults and collaborates with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and individuals with special expertise. Institutions who wish to collaborate with RUSHSAP are warmly invited to do so, noting that RUSHSAP is not a donor but a development partner, and facilitator of expert advice and connections.

One of RUSHSAP’s major strategies is the organization of national and regional consultations with member countries, research institutes and organizations in order to undertake stock-taking, seek new visions and directions for its regional strategy and agenda and its programme and modes of collaboration.