UNESCO Archives AtoM catalogue

European Organization for Nuclear Research

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

European Organization for Nuclear Research

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • CERN

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1954-09-29 -

History

“The Convention establishing the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) was approved by 12 Member States at the 6th session of the Provisional CERN Council in Paris, 29 June - 1 July 1953, and entered into force on 29 September 1954, when sufficient ratifications of the Convention were obtained from the Member States. Hence, 29 September 1954 is the date when CERN came officially into being.”
“The first ideas for international laboratories were put forward as early as 1946 within the United Nations Organization. It was not until December 1949 that this focused on achieving European collaboration in nuclear physics: a commission of the European Cultural Conference held in Lausanne from the 8th to 12th of that month proposed the creation of a European Institute for nuclear science. The next major step in this direction was the voting of a resolution proposed at the fifth General Conference of UNESCO, in Florence on 7 June 1950. This was followed by a more explicit resolution made at a meeting in Geneva on 12 December 1950 at the Centre Européen de la Culture. The resolution recommended that a laboratory be established based on the construction of a large machine for accelerating elementary particles. Signature, by eleven States, of the Agreement constituting a "Council of Representatives of European States for Planning an International Laboratory and Organizing Other Forms of Co-operation in Nuclear Physics" was performed on 15 February 1952 at the second session of the intergovernmental conference, held in Geneva. The task of the Council and its executive was to draw up plans for the new laboratory and its equipment, and to draft an intergovernmental convention to place the organization on a permanent footing. By February 1952 two strong candidates had emerged for the location of the organization: Geneva and Copenhagen. By the end of July the French and Dutch governments had also offered sites in Paris and Arnhem respectively. The Council met for the first time in May 1952 and the Geneva location was finally agreed upon at the third Council session. Great Britain did not sign the 1952 Agreement establishing the provisional CERN but joined, on 1 July 1953, the eleven States who were party to the Agreement in Paris to approve the text of the Convention and the Financial Protocol annexed thereto. The Convention establishing the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the protocol were open for signature until the 31 December 1953. The Convention came into force on 29 September 1954 when the instruments of ratification of seven of the Member States were deposited at UNESCO House in Paris.
“CERN’s goals were set out in Article II of The Convention Establishing the European Organization for Nuclear Research: "The Organization shall provide for collaboration among European States in nuclear research of a pure scientific and fundamental character, and in research essentially related thereto. The Organization shall have no concern with work for military requirements and the results of its experimental and theoretical work shall be published or otherwise made generally available".
The Convention also states that CERN shall organize and sponsor international co-operation in research, promoting contacts between scientists and interchange with other laboratories and institutes. This includes dissemination of information, and the provision of advanced training for research workers, which continue to be reflected in the current programmes for technology transfer and education and training at many levels.
"The revised edition of the Convention and the Financial Protocol annexed thereto, dated 18 January 1971, embodies amendments which have subsequently been adopted by the Council of the Organization. See:http://council.web.cern.ch/council/en/Governance/Convention.html(Guide to the Archives of International Organizations, 2011).

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Created by AWT 6/6/2012.

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