Magazine article UNESCO Courier

UNESCO's First 45 Years

Magazine article UNESCO Courier

UNESCO's First 45 Years

Article excerpt


General policy

* The United Nations University is established in Tokyo under the joint auspices of the United Nations and UNESCO.

* A conference is held in Paris on the educational problems of the 25 least developed countries.

* A group of experts commissioned to evaluate functionality literacy work carried out in 11 Member States since 1967 presents its report, which is published the following year by UNESCO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Its conclusion: the Experimental World Literacy Programme has had mixed results, but has yielded important lessons for the future.

Exact and natural sciences

* The Intergovernmental Co-ordinating Council of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) meets for the first time. The IHP follows up the work of the International Hydrological Decade, putting emphasis on methodology and training in the rational management of water resources.

* A World Network of Microbiological Resource Centres (MIRCENs) is established, with branches in Bangkok, Brisbane, Dakar, Guatemala City, Cairo, Nairobi and Porto Alegre (Brazil).

* A meeting of experts on the ethical problems posed by recent advances in biology is held at Varna in Bulgaria. Biology and Ethics, a publication based on the proceedings of the meeting, marks a notable advance in thinking of the subject.


* An Advisory Committee for the Study of Oceanic Cultures is set up to promote research into the cultures of the Pacific.


General policy

* The General Conference, held in Nairobi, is opened by Jomo Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya. It decides to create a Drafting and Negotiating Group to seek consensus solutions to sensitive questions.

* The Conference adopts a Medium-Term Plan for 1977-1982.

* A General Information Programme is inaugurated to regroup activities relating to the exchange of scientific and technological information, covered by UNISIST, and those dealing with the planning of national library, archive and documentation infrastructures, covered by NATIS (National Information Systems).


* The General Conference adopts a Recommendation on the development of adult education that enshires the concept of lifeling education, defined as follows, that UNESCO has helped to propagate: "Education and learning, far from being limited to the period of attendance at school, should extend throughout life, include all skills and branches of knowledge, use all possible means, and give the opportunity to all people for full development of the personality."

* The first international conference of ministers and senior civil servants responsible for physical education and sport in the training of young people is held in Paris.

Exact and natural sciences

* After 12 years' work, UNESCO completes publication of the Geological World Atlas, prepared in collaboration with the International Geological Congress's Commission for the Geological Map of the World.

Social sciences

* A meeting of experts on inter-regional cooperation in the social sciences is held in Paris.


* In Nairobi, the General Conference adopts a Recommendation concerning popular participation in cultural life.

* In advisory committee for Arab culture is established.


* San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, hosts the first in a series of regional intergovernmental conferences on communications policies. Others will later be held in Kuala Lumpur (1979), Yaounde (1980), and Khartoum (1987).

* UNESCO contributes to the establishment in Nairobi of the African Council on Communication Education. Initially grouping 19 institutions, the Council now has 65 members.

* UNESCO uses a communications satellite for the first time during a session of the General Conference. …

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