The Cook Islands government is putting forward a bid for a seat on the UNESCO executive board.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation is a specialised agency of the UN which promotes peace and security through education, scientific and cultural reform.
The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna said the nation has been an active member of UNESCO for the past 30 years and can be an effective voice for the Pacific region.
"We have a high standing with the agency in the areas of education for sustainable development and indigenous and traditional knowledge and just recently we have been building our profile in the culture programme."
Mr Puna said the Cook Islands would be a positive dynamic voice for the Pacific and ensure member states are well informed of UNESCO work.
The New Zealand Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu Iiga said the Cook Islands is well placed to help further UNESCO's goals and the New Zealand government will support its candidacy.