IFLA has the unique role of engaging with global and international organisations on behalf of the library field. By bringing together library voices from around the world, IFLA is well positioned to highlight what libraries offer toward achieving international priorities, and the resources required to do so.

Through this, IFLA works to pass or improve laws, shape recommendations and declarations, and launch projects and programmes. We share evidence and ideas to help ensure that the role of information is recognised.

By ensuring the inclusion of libraries in the work produced by international organisations, we can help ensure that governments and decision-makers at all levels clearly see the need for strong libraries, everywhere.

The end goal is to provide library associations, libraries and library and information professionals with opportunities, arguments and evidence to support progress in their contexts.

Our work with the United Nations focuses on the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Having worked to ensure access to information is part of the Agenda, IFLA now participates in global and regional meetings to promote continued government investment into our institutions’ work. We also are looking ahead, notably to the Summit of the Future in 2024, and to the post-2030 Agenda.

At UNESCO, IFLA engages across a wide range of topics, reflecting the variety of ways in which libraries contribute to societies – from documentary heritage (via the Memory of the World programme) to open science, anti-trafficking and media and information literacy.

At the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), IFLA leads in making the case for cross-border legal action, to ensure libraries everywhere have the laws they need to carry out their missions in a digital, globalised world.

IFLA also works with other international organisations and bodies, such as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Habitat, the Internet Governance Forum, and the World Summit on the Information Society, with the latter coming up to an important 20 year anniversary.

This work also can offer opportunities for engagement by IFLA’s Members – see our Get Into… Guides for more.