The UNESCO: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (or UNESCO listed on AbbreviationFinder), founded in 1946, is a specialized agency of the United Nations. The objective of the Organization has been defined as follows:
“To contribute to the preservation of peace and security by strengthening, through education, science and culture, collaboration among nations in order to ensure universal respect for justice, the law, human rights and of the fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, which the Charter of the United Nations recognizes for all peoples ”
To achieve this purpose, the Organization:
- It will promote the mutual knowledge and understanding of the nations by lending their assistance to the organs of information for the masses; To this end, it will recommend the international agreements it deems appropriate to facilitate the free circulation of ideas through words and images.
- It will give a new and vigorous impulse to popular education and the dissemination of culture: Collaborating with those Member States that so wish to help them develop their own educational activities; Instituting cooperation among nations in order to promote the ideal of equal educational possibilities for all, without distinction of race, sex, or any social or economic condition; Suggesting suitable educational methods to prepare the children of the whole world for the responsibilities of the free man.
- It will help the conservation, progress and dissemination of knowledge: Ensuring the conservation and protection of the universal heritage of books, works of art and monuments of historical or scientific interest, and recommending to interested nations the international conventions that are necessary for such an end.
Encouraging cooperation between nations in all branches of intellectual activity and the international exchange of representatives of education, science and culture, as well as publications, works of art, laboratory material and any useful documentation in this regard; facilitating, through appropriate methods of international cooperation, the access of all peoples to what each of them publishes.
History of the Organization
In 1942, in the midst of World War II, the governments of the European countries that faced Nazi Germany and its allies met in England at the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME). The war is far from over, but countries are already wondering how they will rebuild education systems once peace is restored. Very quickly this project grows and acquires a universal dimension. New governments decide to participate, including that of the United States of America.
Based on the proposal of CAME, held in London from the 1 to the 16 of November of 1945, just at the end of the war, a Conference of the United Nations for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO / CONF).
It brings together the representatives of some 40 states. With the impulse of France and the United Kingdom, two countries very affected by the conflict, the delegates decided to create an organization destined to institute a true culture of peace. Within its spirit, this new organization must establish the “intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity” and, in this way, prevent the unleashing of a new world war.
At the end of the conference, 37 of these States sign the Constitution that marks the birth of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The UNESCO Constitution comes into force in 1946 and is ratified by 20 States: Saudi Arabia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czechoslovakia, China, Denmark, Egypt, United States of America, France, Greece, India, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, United Kingdom, South Africa and Turkey.
The first meeting of the General Conference of UNESCO is held in Paris from November 19 to December 10, 1946. It is attended by representatives of 30 governments with the right to vote.
The composition of UNESCO’s founding Member States was marked by political divisions that emerged after the Second World War. Japan and the Federal Republic of Germany join as members in 1951 and Spain does so in 1953. Historical events of momentous importance, such as the Cold War, the decolonization process and the dissolution of the Soviet Union have repercussions for UNESCO. The USSR became a member in 1954 before being replaced in 1992 by the Russian Federation. Nineteen African States joined the Organization in 1960. Twelve former Soviet republics became UNESCO Member States between 1991 and 1993, after the disintegration of the USSR.
The People’s Republic of China has been, since 1971, the only legitimate representative of China before UNESCO. The German Democratic Republic, a member since 1972, reunifies, becoming the German Federal Republic in 1990.
Some countries withdrew from the Organization for political reasons at various times in history. Today, all of them have returned to UNESCO. South Africa was absent from 1957 to 1994, the United States of America from 1985 to 2003, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1986 to 1997, and Singapore from 1986 to 2007.