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The establishment of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development in New Delhi as a part of a UNESCO initiative has been approved by the Union Cabinet. Strengthening the educational and knowledge base for promoting education of peace and sustainable development-related research, the institute will be managed through an operational agreement between the UNESCO and India, according to an official statement. Its establishment as a category one institute of the UNESCO was recommended by the international agency's executive board at its 182nd session held in September 2009 and approved by 35th the Session of General Conference of the UNESCO in October 2009, the statement said adding an estimate of Rs 223.68 crore has been made to set it up over a period of seven years. “It will put India into the group of select countries with a category one institute of UNESCO. Currently there are 11 category one Institutes of the UNESCO in the world, out of which nine are located in the developed countries while the remaining two are located in developing countries namely, Ethiopia and Venezuela,” the statement said. Category one institutes and centres are an integral part of the UNESCO and their governing bodies are either elected by the General Conference or appointed in whole or part by the Director General, UNESCO, and report to the General Conference. “It will serve as a platform for India to emerge as a global leader from the Asia-Pacific region in the areas of education for peace and sustainable development,” it added. The institute will also contribute to capacity building needs of member states with focus on Asia and the Pacific region.

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