The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was created in 1946 as a specialized agency in the framework of the United Nations. Its mandate is to develop and maintain peace, rule of law, and mutual respect among states through the collaboration between Member States on matters of science, culture and education. UNESCO achieves its goals through summoning international conferences to deliberate issues and set standards, providing expert research and consultation to the primary organs of the UN system. UNESCO is comprised of 195 Member States and nine Associate Members, which make up the General Conference. Its goals are defined by the current Medium-Term Strategy (2014-2021), focusing on the overarching objectives of fostering peace and promoting sustainable development, including the Global Priorities of Africa and Gender Equality.