Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (RCUWM-Tehran) has been established under the auspices of UNESCO since 2002 in Tehran-Iran. It is associated with UNESCO through formal agreement approved by the UNESCO General Conference.

The agreement between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) regarding RCUWM has been recently renewed, signed and exchanged for its third period of activities as for 2019-2024.

RCUWM contributes to water-related projects of UNESCO’s strategic programme by capacity building, knowledge sharing and research at international and regional levels.

RCUWM is guided and overseen by its Governing Board (GB) as the most important decision making constituent at the highest level according to the agreement. The Centre’s GB member states were Ministers from Iran (Chair), Afghanistan, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Germany, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan and Yemen as well as UNESCO Director General during the period of 2002-2018.
As for the third period of activities starting from 2019 the GB member states are Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan and Turkey.
It is worth mentioning that UNDP, FAO, UN-HABITAT, WMO along with ECO, IsDB, JCCME and Oman Water Society are international and regional member organisations.


This centre was officially inaugurated in February 2002, by an agreement signed and exchanged between I.R. Iran and UNESCO.

UNESCO requires that Category 2 water-related Centres undergo periodic reviews. The main objectives of these reviews are to assess the Centres’ performance with respect to their terms of reference and contributions to the UNESCO mandate (Feb. 07, 2016). The outcome of the review is a decision on whether the agreement between UNESCO and the host government should be renewed.

After the latest evaluation by a group of independent experts, the agreement between the government of Islamic Republic of Iran and UNESCO concerning the establishment and operation of Regional Centre on Urban Water Management, has been signed and extended in May 2018, entering into force in January 2019 for 6 years.


  • To promote scientific research on the issues and problems related to UWM of the region.
  • To create and reinforce networks for the exchange of scientific, technical and policy information on urban water issues among the institutions and individuals in the region and in other countries.
  • To develop and coordinate cooperative research activities on urban water management issues, taking advantage particularly of the installed scientific and professional capacity of the region and of the relevant UNESCO-IHP networks and non-governmental organizations.
  • To organize knowledge and information transfer activities on the subject, including international training courses, symposia or workshops, and to engage in appropriate awareness raising activities.
  • To develop a strong program of information and communication technology to further the Centre’s objectives.
  • To provide technical consulting and advisory services in the region and beyond as required.
  • To produce technical publications and other media items related to the activities of the Centre


  • Providing support to joint research and technology transfer projects;
  • Conducting training courses and capacity building events at various levels;
  • Partnership and networking at the regional and international levels


In February 2002, the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management – Tehran was inaugurated formally at the ceremony by the attendance of about 200 people from different international organisations, ambassadors of the states in the region, members of parliament, senior managers and directors from national organisations and ministries, university professors, senior managers from private sector and NGOs. At this magnificent ceremony, the agreement between the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation was signed by H.E. Mr. Bitaraf, Minister of Energy on behalf of Government of I.R. Iran and H.E. Mr. Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO.