Monday, 8 November 2010
CASE 162 - UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO; pronounced /juːˈnɛskoʊ/ yew-NESK-oh) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established on 16 November 1945. Its stated purpose is to contribute to avoiding peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further suppress universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights along with fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter. It is the heir of the League of Nations' International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation.
UNESCO has 193 Member States and seven Associate Members. The organization is based in Paris, with over 50 field offices and many specialized institutes and centres throughout the world. Most of the field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries; there are also national and regional offices. UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy, technical, and teacher-training programmes; international science programmes; the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press; regional and cultural history projects; the promotion of cultural diversity; international cooperation agreements to secure the world cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and to preserve human rights, and attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.
As early as 1942, the governments of the European countries that were confronting Nazi Germany and its allies met in the United Kingdom for the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME). The Second World War was far from over, yet those countries were looking for ways to reconstruct their systems of education once peace was restored. The project quickly gained momentum and soon took on a universal note. New governments, including that of the United States, decided to join in.
Upon the proposal of CAME, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF) was convened in London from 1 to 16 November 1945. Scarcely had the war ended when the conference opened. It gathered together the representatives of forty-four countries. Spurred on by France and the United Kingdom, two countries that had known great hardship during the conflict, the delegates decided to create an organization that would embody a genuine culture of peace. In their eyes, the new organization must establish the "intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind" and, in so doing, prevent the outbreak of another world war.It is an international organisation organised by the united nations.
As a consequence of its entry into the United Nations, the People's Republic of China has been the only legitimate representative of China at UNESCO since 1971. The German Democratic Republic was a Member from 1972 to 1990, when it joined the Federal Republic of Germany.
The League of Nations, the United Nations' ancestor, also had an institution to deal with intellectual cooperation: the "International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation" (ICIC), which had prestigious members such as Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Marie Curie and Paul Valéry.The flag of UNESCO shows a variation of the Parthenon, the ancient Greek temple, which is located in Athens, Greece. The General Conference is a gathering of the organization's member states and associate members, in which each state has one vote. Meeting every two years, it sets general policies and defines programme lines for the organization. The Executive Board's 58 members are elected by the General Conference for staggered four-year terms. The Executive Board prepares the sessions of the General Conference and ensures that its instructions are carried out. It also discharges other specific mandates assigned to it by the General Conference. The Secretariat consists of the Director-General and his staff and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organization. The Director-General, who serves as the public face of UNESCO, is elected for a (renewable) four-year term by the General Conference. The staff currently numbers some 2100, of whom some two-thirds are based in Paris, with the remaining third spread around the world in UNESCO's 58 field offices. The Secretariat is divided into various administrative offices and five programme sectors that reflect the organization's major areas of focus.