By Jacques Tocatlian.
Unesco – sunny side up.
Around The World In Eighty Missions.
Unesco, like the United Nations, was born in the aftermath of the Second World War. Its constitution was ratified on the 4th of November 1946 by the twenty Founding Member States who signed the solemn declaration: ” Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed…” The purpose of the Organization was defined as ” To contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture…” The number of Member States increased from 20 in 1946 to 184 in 1995.
The General Conference is the main decision-making body of Unesco. It meets every two years, determines the policies of the Organization and approves its program and budget. Every six years, it appoints the Director General. The Executive Board is composed of 51 Members. It meets twice a year and is responsible for the implementation of the program. The Secretariat consists of the Director-General, a number of Assistant Directors-General, Directors, Program Specialists and secretaries located at the headquarters in Paris and in some 60 field offices around the world. In 1995, the Secretariat was composed of 2483 women and men from 147 countries.
In 1994-1995 the regular budget, comprising the mandatory contributions from Members States, amounted to $455 million. Extrabudgetary funds (Voluntary contributions, Funds-in-Trust, Special UN funds and programs for Development, Environment, Population, Children etc) for the same period amounted to $275 million.
The Secretariat is divided into Sectors covering its main program areas : 1) Education; 2) Natural Sciences; 3) Culture; 4) Communication, Information and Informatics; and 5) Social & Human Sciences. Each Sector comprises several Divisions, which in turn are organized into Sections.
The activities carried out by the Organization, include: Establishment of international norms; conventions, agreements, recommendations and declarations; conferences and meetings; studies and research; publications : books, periodicals, reports and documents; technical and advisory services to Member States : staff missions, consultants, supplies and equipment; pilot projects; training courses, seminars and workshops; subventions and financial contributions; fellowships and study grants.
Copyright © 2000 by Jacques Tocatlian
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