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authority records

Intergovernmental Bureau of Informatics

  • Corporate body
  • 1961-1988

The Intergovernmental Bureau of Informatics was created, with the name International Computation Center, under the auspices of the United Nations and UNESCO by an international Convention signed on December 6, 1951 in Paris. The Resolutions concerning the establishment of this body were taken by the United Nations and UNESCO in 1946, 1948, 1950 and 1951. The International Computation Center was transformed in three stages (1969-70: reorganization, 1971-72: consolidation, and from 1978 on expansion). into the IBI in order to react to the technological evolution in the field.
The IBI had 38 member states which were members either of the United Nations, or of UNESCO, or of one of the other Specialized Agencies of the United Nations.
At its sixth extraordinary session, held in Rome on 28 and 29 November 1988, the General Assembly, by resolution R.6E/09 decided that IBI would cease to exist as from 30 November.
Dissolution had been made inevitable due to a series of difficulties encountered by IBI with regard to both its programme activities and its own organizational management and administration. These difficulties led to the successive withdrawal of several Member States from 1985 onwards, in particular the three main contributors (France, Spain and Italy) which deprived IBI of all its funding. Lacking resources, and in the throes of an unprecedented administrative crisis, with a temporary Board of Management acting as a Directorate, IBI was dissolved after 26 years spent in promoting co-operation in informatics.

Director General of UNESCO

  • Corporate body

The first Director-General of UNESCO was Julian Huxley. Since its inception, UNESCO had been headed by 10 Director-General, coming from the United Kingdom, Mexico, the United States, France, Senegal, Italy, Spain, Japan and Bulgaria. Since 2009, the Bulgarian Irina Bokova serves as UNESCO first female Director-General.

UNESCO Bangkok Office

  • Corporate body
  • Since 1961

The UNESCO office in Bangkok was established in 1961 as the Asian Regional Office for Primary and Compulsory Education. The Office was later extended to cover all divisions of the education sector and the countries of the Pacific region.
Further growth included the incorporation of activities relating to the culture, communication, and social and human science sectors, which led to the eventual renaming of the office as the Principal Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (PROAP) in 1987.
At the beginning of 2002, the UNESCO office in Bangkok assumed two roles. As the Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, it is the technical advisory body to all field offices and Member States of the region and the site of regional programmes in most areas covered by the Education Sector.
As the cluster office, the UNESCO office in Bangkok is also the principal coordinator of UNESCO activities, across sectors, in the Mekong region - directly in Thailand, Myanmar and Lao PDR and indirectly in support of UNESCO country offices in Viet Nam and Cambodia.
UNESCO Bangkok also houses regional advisory units in Culture and Social and Human Sciences and staff from the Communication and Information Sector and the Science Sector.
In 2007, Singapore joined UNESCO as the 193rd Member State and become a member of UNESCO Bangkok cluster office.


  • Corporate body
  • Since 1972

UNESCO-CEPES (the European Centre for Higher Education/Centre Européen pour l'Enseignement Supérieur) was established in September 1972 with a view to promoting co-operation in higher education among Member States of the Europe Region (the countries of Europe, North America, and Israel). The creation of such a centre was recommended at the Sixteenth Session of the General Conference of UNESCO which was held in the autumn of 1970. Specifically, in November of that year, the Government of Romania officially invited UNESCO to set up the Centre in Bucharest. The Director-General accepted the offer in principle, pending the outcome of negotiations relative to the legal basis and the conditions under which the Centre would be housed and would operate. These conditions were spelled out in an Accord de siège signed on 12 June 1972 and in an Annex to this Accord signed on 21 September 1972.

UNESCO Jakarta Office

  • Corporate body
  • Since 1951

The Office was established in 1951 as the UNESCO Field Office for Southeast Asian Science Co-operation (SEASCO). In 1967, it became the Regional Office for Science and 1967 Technology for Southeast Asia (ROSTSEA). In 1993, it was renamed the UNESCO Jakarta Office in keeping with the house-wide policy on office names.
In 2001, the UNESCO Office in Jakarta became Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, and Office of the UNESCO Representative to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines
In 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) signed the Instrument of Acceptance for Membership of UNESCO (31 October 2002).

UNESCO Regional School Building Center for Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Corporate body
  • 1963-1984

In 1961, UNESCO established an educational facilities section at Headquarters and three regional school building centres in Africa, Asia, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, in parallel to the educational policy and planning units. To strengthen the multidisciplinary approach of educational projects, in 1973 the Asian and African regional centres, as well as the policy and planning units, were integrated into the Regional Offices for Education. However, the Educational Building Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean (CONESCAL), established in Mexico in co-operation with the Organization of American States continued to function until 1984.

UNESCO Liaison Office in Washington

  • Corporate body
  • May 1978 - March 1986

The UNESCO Liaison Office in Washington opened in May 1978 and closed down on March 31, 1986, in consequence to the withdrawal of the United States from UNESCO.

Between 1963 and 1965 there had already been a Liaison Office in Washington which mainly served to establish a co-operation programme between UNESCO and the World Bank. In 1965 this office had been transferred to the New York Liaison Office.

Conference of Allied Ministers of Education

  • Corporate body
  • 1942-1945

As early as 1942, in wartime, the governments of the European countries, which 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 and means to reconstruct their systems of education once peace was restored. Very quickly, the project gained momentum and soon took on a universal note. New governments, including that of the United States, decided to join in.

By midsummer 1943, the work of the Conference grew to such an extent that re-organization was necessary. From the discussion about the re-organization of the Conference, it came out that one of the objects of the reconstituted CAME would be to consider plans for the formation of a permanent organization for promoting cooperation in educational matters in the post-war period. This organization should first be confined to the United Nations, and should then - after the war - grow into an international organization.

The decision of CAME to promote the foundation of a United Nations Organization for Educational and Cultural Reconstruction found a profound echo in the public. The League of Nations Union expressed the hope that the new organization would develop into a General International Organization for education which would provide the moral and intellectual basis of the peace.

The decision was taken to convene an extraordinary Conference, which would be attended by the participating countries on an equal footing with one vote for each, for the purpose of agreeing on the creation of an international organization that would take charge of educational and cultural concerns during the reconstruction period: the United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF).

UNESCO Staff Associations

  • Corporate body
  • 1947-

The first Staff association of UNESCO (STA) was established in 1947. For the first 35 years of UNESCO existence, this organisation was the only association officially recognized by the Administration as representative of the UNESCO's staff.
In 1981 another staff association emerged: the ISAU (International Staff Association of UNESCO). Both associations, the STA and ISAU represent all different groups of UNESCO Staff members and have the same functions and activities.
In 1995/96 the STA changed its name from UNESCO Staff Association into UNESCO Staff Union (STU) in order to respond to a demand of FICSA (Federation of International Civil Servants' Associations). Despite the change of name, the organisation and activities of the associations stayed the same.

Over the years, there have been several attempts to divide the existing two staff associations in order to create associations who would be responsible for only the General or Professional Staff. But none of these attempts have been successful or would have been recognized as representative for UNESCO Staff.

In 1991, a new kind of association emerged: the AFUS (Association of former UNESCO Staff) who deals with all kind of questions concerning the former Staff members of UNESCO.

Conference of the Establishment of UNESCO

  • Corporate body
  • 1 to 16 November 1945

The 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.

At the end of the conference, thirty-seven countries founded the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Ben Barka, Lalla Aïcha

  • Person

"The new Assistant Director-General for UNESCO’s Africa Department will be Lalla Aïcha Ben Barka of Mali, who is currently the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Africa. Ms Ben Barka was Director of UNESCO’s Regional Bureau for Education in Africa, from 2004-2007. In the course of her career, she has contributed to the development of the education systems of twelve West African countries, including her own, Mali. Ms Ben Barka has also collaborated with a number of foundations that work for African development, including the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Canada)" (UNESCO, Press Release 2010-043).

Engida, Getachew

  • Person

"The new Deputy Director-General will be Getachew Engida, who is currently UNESCO’s Comptroller and Deputy Assistant Director-General for Administration. Mr Engida, of Ethiopia, has had a distinguished international career in auditing and financial management for prominent international companies and also worked for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as Assistant Comptroller. He joined UNESCO in his current position in 2004" (Press Release No.2010-43, UNESCO).

Kalonji, Gretchen

  • Person

"The new Assistant Director-General in charge of the Natural Sciences Sector will be Gretchen Kalonji of the United States of America. Currently Director of International Systemwide Research Development at the University of California’s Office of the President, Ms Kalonji’s international career in materials science and educational transformation has taken her to university positions in France, Japan and China. She has also worked with several African universities and is fluent in Kiswahili and Lingala. Ms Kalonji helped to establish a science and health initiative linking partners in East Africa with the University of California" (UNESCO, Press Release 2010-043).

Álvarez-Laso, María del Pilar

  • Person

"UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector will be headed by Maria del Pilar Alvarez-Laso of Mexico. The new Assistant Director-General is currently Director of Projects at the Latin American Institute for Educational Communication in Mexico City. Her distinguished career includes both social science research positions and media and communications responsibilities, notably as the Editorial Coordinator at the Mexican Television Institute. Ms Alvarez-Laso set up Mexico’s first satellite educational television channel. She has championed human rights in Latin America" (UNESCO, Press Release 2010-043).

Bandarin, Francesco

  • Person

"The new Assistant Director-General for Culture will be Francesco Bandarin of Italy. Mr Bandarin is currently Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, having taken up this position with UNESCO in 2000. As a specialist in architecture and urban planning, Mr Bandarin previously worked in both public and private institutions in the fields of built heritage, cultural heritage conservation, environmental heritage and cultural events, as well as architectural and urban design in developing countries. As Director of the World Heritage Centre, Mr Bandarin has led the development of a vast network of public private partnerships for World Heritage conservation, as well as the development of a series of regional category II centres in every part of the world" (UNESCO, Press Release 2010-043).

Karklins, Janis

  • Person

"The new Assistant Director-General for UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector will be Janis Karklins of Latvia. Currently Latvian Ambassador to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, after an initial career in industry, Mr Karklins became the Permanent Representative of his country at the United Nations in Geneva. As a diplomat, he was closely involved in the preparation of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and played a key role in its negotiations on internet governance. In 2006, Mr Karklins was elected president of the Government Advisory Committee of ICANN (Internet Corporation of assigned Names and Numbers), which plays a pivotal role in information society issues" (UNESCO, Press Release 2010-043).

Falt, Eric

  • Person

"The new Assistant Director-General for the Sector for External Relations and Cooperation will be Eric Falt of France, who is currently Director of the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information. Mr Falt’s UN career as a spokesman and head of information services has taken him to many countries in post-conflict situations, including Cambodia, where he was spokesman for the United Nations Transitional Authority and Iraq, where he was in charge of information in the United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. He has also worked for the United Nations in Haiti, Pakistan and Kenya" (UNESCO, Press Release 2010-043).

Ribes, Khadija

  • Person

"UNESCO’s Administration Sector is to be headed by Khadija Ribes of Tunisia. Currently Director-General in charge of the civil service and administration development in the Office of the Prime Minister of Tunisia, the new Assistant Director-General for Administration has led a series of administrative reform initiatives in her country. Several of these reforms have been undertaken in cooperation with the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. Ms Ribes, a specialist in e-governance, has worked to introduce such measures as the introduction of public/private partnerships, the simplification of administrative procedures and manuals, the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in administration and results-based management" (UNESCO, Press Release 2010-043).

International Museums Office (IMO)

  • Corporate body
  • 1926-1946

The International Museums Office (IMO) was created by a decision of the International Commission for Intellectual Cooperation (CICI), League of Nations, in July 1926. Its secretariat was based at the International Institute for Intellectual Cooperation (IICI) in Paris. It was governed by a Commission de direction composed of five members, including: a delegate from the CICI; a delegate from the Sub-commission of arts and letters; the Secretary of the CICI; and, the Director of the IICI. The Commission de direction was further guided by a Management Committee and a Committee of friends of museums. The Office published the journal Mouseion as well as the monograph series Museographie, and organized international conferences on matters of importance for the international museum community. In 1936, it carried out a study which would result in a draft Convention for the Protection of Historic Buildings and Works of Art in Times of War presented to the League of Nations’ Council and General Assembly in 1938. The International Museums Office ceased its functions in 1946 with the creation of the United Nations system, UNESCO and International Council of Museums (ICOM).

Comité Français de l’Institut international du cinéma éducatif

  • Corporate body
  • 1930-1938

Following an Accord reached between the Chambre Syndicale Française de la Cinématographie and the International Educational Cinematographic Institute (IECI), the Comité Français de l’Institut international du cinéma éducatif was established on 27 May 1930. IECI called for the establishment of national committees in countries with high film production starting in 1929. The headquarters of the Comité were initially based in the offices of the Chambre syndicale. The Comité was originally composed of representatives of the Chambre syndicale, la Fédération Nationale des Offices régionaux du cinema d’enseignement et d’éducation laïques, le Comité Catholique du Cinéma, as well as French members and experts from the IECI. Charles Delac was elected the first President and Jean Benoit-Lévy was elected Secretary-General. The Comité had a secretariat and a permanent office. Its mission was to coordinate and assemble information about and to seek opinions from French experts and organizations on matters in the IECI’s field of competencies. After a reorganization in 1935, the office was transferred to the Institut International de Coopération Intellectuelle and the statutes of the Comité were revised. In 1937, Italy withdrew from the League of Nations and the IECI was dissolved. The Comité Français was dissolved the following year, effective 31 December 1938.

Slonimski, Antoni

  • Person
  • 1895-1976

Antoni Slonimski, poet, translator, writer and playwright, was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1895. He graduated from the Warsaw Academy of Arts in 1919. He published poetry and essays in Polish and had his work translated into numerous other languages. Slonimski was also a member of the Skamander poets, “a group of young Warsaw intellectuals” (Encyclopaedia Britannica Online). Over his career, Slonimski was Vice-President of the Polish PEN Club, Editor of the Polish monthly ‘New Poland’ or ‘Nova Polska’ and Adviser to the Polish Delegation to the UN at the General Assembly, London, 1946.
Slonimski joined the Preparatory Commission of UNESCO on 23 April 1946 as Counsellor at Head of the Section of Letters. Effective 28 February 1947, Slonimski resigned from UNESCO to focus on his writing.
“Slonimski converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism. He spent the war years in exile, first in France and then in England. In 1951 he returned to Poland and became an outspoken anti-Stalinist who protested censorship and encouraged political and intellectual liberalization” (Encyclopaedia Britannica Online). Slonimski died in Warsaw, 4 July 1976.

Needham, Joseph

  • Person
  • 1900-1995

Noel Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham, known as Joseph Needham, was born in London in 1900. He is also known by the Chinese name Li Yuese.

In 1918, Needham left King’s College to begin training for service as surgeon sub-lieutenant, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. The First World War ended before he was deployed at sea. He then pursued his higher education at Cambridge University, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1921, a master’s degree in 1925, and a doctorate later in 1925. From 1924, he was a Fellow at Cambridge and held various appointments in universities in England and in the United States. He worked as a University Demonstrator in Biochemistry at Cambridge from 1928 to 1933, when he was appointed Sir William Dunn Reader in Biochemistry. He held this title until 1966 when he was appointed Master of Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge. During his academic career at Cambridge, he also served as visiting lecturer in England, the United States, and Poland. He retired from the Mastership in 1976.

In 1942, Needham was sent to China as Head of the British Scientific Mission and Counsellor at the British Embassy in Chungking, in charge of a Sino-British Science Co-operation Office (SBSCO). “The SBSCO was responsible for assessing the needs of Chinese scientific, technological and medical institutions and researchers, and facilitating the supply of equipment and medicines, books and journals to China” (UK National Archives).

After this experience, Needham is considered to have played an instrumental role in introducing Science into the mandate of UNESCO. His proposal for a scientific programme at UNESCO was presented to the first General Conference in November 1946. Needham served as Senior Counsellor for the Natural Sciences Section of the Preparatory Commission from May 6 - December 6, 1946. He continued, first under the title of Senior Counsellor, then as Head of the Natural Sciences Section in the UNESCO Secretariat from December 6, 1946 to April 20, 1948. On April 6, 1948, he was appointed Honorary Consultant in the Natural Sciences by the Director-General. The Executive Board awarded him the title of Honorary Counsellor to UNESCO on September 16, 1949.

After leaving UNESCO in April 1948, Needham’s work at Cambridge focused on the contribution of China to science and civilization. The question of why historically the scientific and industrial revolutions had occurred in Europe and not China, given its scientific traditions, became known as ‘the Needham Question’ or ‘Needham’s Grand Question.’

Needham died March 24, 1995.

Among his honours, Needham was made a Foreign Member of the Chinese National Academy, the National Academy of Peiping, and the Société philomathique de Paris. The Needham Research Institute for the study of Chinese science was opened at Cambridge in 1985. He also held the following British orders: Fellow, Royal Society (1941); Fellow, British Academy (1971); and, Companionship of Honour (1992).

Among his many publications, Needham is noted for: 'Chemical Embryology' (1931); 'Biochemistry and Morphogenesis' (1942); and, his contributions to 'Science and Civilization in China' series.

Malina, Frank J.

  • Person
  • 1912/10/12 - 1981/11/09

Frank Joseph Malina was born in Brenham, Texas, USA, on October 12, 1912. He received a Bachelor of Sciences in Mechanical Engineering from the Texas Agricultural & Mechanical College in 1934. He then continued his studies at the California Institute of Technology (CIT), earning a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1935, a Masters of Science in Aeronautical Engineering in 1936, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautics in 1940. He served as an Assistant Professor at CIT from 1942-1946.

During his academic and professional career at CIT, Malina and colleagues founded the Rocket Research Project at the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory (GALCIT). “From 1940 to 1944 Malina was the chief engineer of the Air Corps Jet Propulsion Research Project of GALCIT; in 1944 these projects became the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)” (American National Biography Online). Malina was the first director of the Laboratory from 1944-1946. His work in rocketry led to the launch of the WAC Corporal in 1945, the United States’ first successful high altitude sounding rocket. (Personnel File). In 1949, when boosted on the nose of a captured V-2 German rocket, the WAC Corporal became the first man-made object to reach outer space. (American National Biography Online).

“In 1944 and in 1946 Malina travelled to Britain and France on mission as a scientific consultant for the U.S. War Department for European Missions” (Americal National Biography Online).

Malina joined UNESCO on April 18, 1947 as a Programme Specialist (Counsellor) in the Natural Sciences Section. He was made Deputy Head of the Department on March 15, 1949, and then was appointed Head of the Division of Scientific Research on June 1, 1949. The Division had several name changes, but when Malina resigned from UNESCO effective February 10, 1953, it was named the Contribution to Research Division. Among his activities at UNESCO, Malina worked on the Hylean Amazon Project and the Arid Zone Programme, which he described in his resignation letter as being “especially close to my heart.” (Personnel File).

Among his honours, Malina was awarded the French Prix d’Astronautique in 1939, a Certificate of Commendation from the U.S. Army in 1946, the C.M. Hickman Award of the American Rocket Society in 1948, and the Order of Merit from the French Society for the Encouragement of Research and Invention in 1962.

Also an artist, after his time at UNESCO Malina seemed to focus on his art work. He was a pioneer of kinetic art, incorporating electric light into paintings or mobiles (Personnel file). He began to also incorporate sound into his works in the 1960s (WAP Unit Website). Malina’s exhibited his work internationally at major institutions such as the Centre National d'Art Contemporain (Paris) and the Smithsonian Institute (Washington, DC, USA). One of his works, Ladders to the Stars III, 1965, is in the UNESCO works of art collection. In 1968, Malina founded the art journal Leonardo and served as Chief Editor until his death. Malina died November 9, 1981.

Fond de l'IBI pour le Développement de l'Informatique

  • Corporate body

Annoncé à l’occasion de la conférence SPINDE, le Fond de l'IBI pour le développement de l'informatique (FIDI) devait aboutir à la création d’une organisation intergouvernementale avec ses propres institutions, et à travers de laquelle l’IBI et d’autres pays membres mèneraient une politique d’investissement dans des infrastructures informatiques dans les pays du tiers monde. Le Fond ne vit cependant jamais le jour.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Cabinet of the Director General

  • Corporate body

The Cabinet of the Director-General most notably had responsibility for relations with member and non-member states, as well as relations with governmental and non-governmental organizations that may or may not have had cooperation agreements with the IBI.

Dating at least from 1982, Mohsen Boudegga was the Director of the Cabinet.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Administration and Finance Department

  • Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics
  • Corporate body
  • 1962-1988

The Department of Administration and Finances oversaw the organization's administration activities linked to human resources as well as its financial activities, including the offices of the Comptroller and the Treasury. The Department was also responsible for overseeing the general services of the Organization. The Department existed since the beginning of the organization until its liquidation (1961 to 1988). For most of its existence, Corrado Ferantelli was its Director.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Legal Advisor

  • Corporate body

The office of the Legal Advisor was responsible for questions requiring legal expertise. It was also the service responsible for keeping all legal agreements with state members and non-members, such as, for example, cooperation agreements. Thomas Ennisson was one of the heads of this service over time.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Latin America Department

  • Corporate body
  • 1986-1988

The Latin America Department was created after a reorganization of the Cooperation Department in 1986. The Latin American Department inherited the responsibilities of the Cooperation Department for the geographic zone of South America and the Caribbean. It also inherited responsibility for coordination activities with the Regional Centre in Mexico (CREALC) which were formerly carried out by the External Relations service.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Africa Department

  • Corporate body
  • 1986-1988

The Africa Department was created as part of a general reorganization in 1986 when the Cooperation Department was dissolved into three regional departments. The Africa Department inherited the Cooperation Department's activities for the francophone area of sub-Saharan Africa. The Department also inherited responsibility for coordination of activities with the regional centre CRIBI in Dakar, Senegal. This work was formerly carried out by the External Relations service under the direct authority of the Director General of the IBI. The Africa Department also had responsibility for coordination with the Regional Centres for Central Africa (Kinshasa) and Anglophone Africa (Lagos) when they were opened.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Arab Region Department

  • Corporate body
  • 1986-1988

The Arab Region Department was created in 1986 as part of a general reorganization of the Cooperation Department. The Arab Region Department inherited responsibility for cooperation activities in the geographic zone of the Maghreb and the Middle East. It also inherited responsibility for coordinating activities with the Regional Centre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This work was formerly carried out by the External Relations service under the direct authority of the Director-General.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Executive Council

  • Corporate body
  • 1962-1988

The Executive Council was one of the governing bodies of the IBI. It was composed of representatives of member states elected by the Assembly General. The Council met every six months. It was responsible for the execution of the programme (financial and operational aspects) as set out by the General Assembly.

Particularly in the 1980s, the Executive Council established different consultative committees to advise on specific matters, including: the Consultative Programme and Budget Committee, the Consultative Scientific Committee, and a Reflection Committee to consider the present and future prospects of the IBI.

The Executive Council held 57 ordinary sessions and 4 extraordinary sessions.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. General Assembly

  • Corporate body
  • 1962-1988

The General Assembly was the principal governing body of the Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics (IBI). The Assembly met every two years at IBI headquarters in Rome. It was composed of representatives of the State Members to the IBI and an observer from UNESCO. At each session, the Assembly determined the programme activities and budget for the Bureau for the next two years. The Assembly appointed the Director-General and elected members of the Executive Council.

The General Assembly met for 13 ordinary sessions and 6 extraordinary sessions over the course of its history. The first session was held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, from 30 April to 2 May 1962. The last meeting was an extraordinary session held 30 November 1988 to set out the liquidation of the Organization.

The official languages of the General Assembly were French and English up until the 4th Assembly General (Rome, 3-4 April 1967) where Spanish was established as the third working language of the IBI.

Throughout its existence, the General Assembly created different ad hoc commissions and independent committees in order to advance the working methods and operations of the Organization. The Committee for the Revision of the Convention of the IBI and the Liquidation Committee are two examples.

At the 10th General Assembly, the Committee for the revision of the Convention and statues of the IBI was established. The Director-General first convoked a meeting of the Committee in July 1981. The Committee, also known as REVCO, had the status of an ad hoc commission and was composed of representatives of member states and a representative from UNESCO. REVCO was convoked periodically during the 1980s when questions relating to the Convention arose.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Information Department

  • Corporate body

The Information Department was one of the two units (along with the Department of Administration and Finances) that provided supporting services for the operational and governance units of the IBI. The origin of the Department can likely be traced to the Publications section which operated in the 1960s. Its activities principally consisted of the production of official publications such as: General Assembly documents, Executive Council documents, reports, studies, the journal Agora, the IBIPRESS, and the IBI Newsletter. In addition to this, the Department also was responsible for production of audiovisual material and for operating the IBI's Documentation Centre.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Department of Technology

  • Corporate body

The Department of Technology was responsible for coordinating information technology activities at IBI headquarters. It included a microelectrics labratory which was charged with developing state-of-the-art technologies to be used by developing countries. Enrique Melrose directed the Department. He was at the origin of various projects, most notably IBINET, a data transfer network using satellite systems, which was was in use at the time.

International Computation Centre

  • Corporate body
  • 1951-1974

The International Computation Centre (ICC) was created after a series of resolutions by the United Nations Economic and Social Council and UNESCO between the years 1946 to 1951. In 1951, a Conference for the Establishment of the ICC was held and resulted in an International Convention creating the Centre. However, it was not until November 1961 that the ICC began operations as an organization autonomous from UNESCO.

At the end of 1969, the objectives of the Organization were modified to take into account significant technological changes. Through these changes, the ICC was to transform into a new organization to be called the Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. The transformation happened in three stages, during which the ICC became known as ICC-IBI (1971-1972), then IBI-ICI (1973-1974), until the VII General Assembly in December 1974 when the organization officially transformed to the IBI.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. International Institute for the Development of Informatics

  • Corporate body
  • 1984-1988

The International Institute for the Development of Informatics (IBIDI) was created based on a resolution made in the 10th session of the IBI General Assembly, held in Rome from 21-25 June 1982. Following the signature of agreements between the IBI and the Italian government, the IBIDI was established in the Centre for Studies and Advanced Technology Applications (Centro studi ed applicazioni in technologie avanzate - CSATA) in the Techopolis complex in Valenzano (Bari), Italy. It began operations in 1985.

The IBIDI sought to train professionals in informatics so that they could occupy key decision-making posts in their country. The aim was to prepare professionals to anticipate technological evolution and to facilitate knowledge transfer between IBI member countries. The institute also undertook research programs in order to diseminate new technologies as information management tools for the economic, technical and social fields.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Management Comittee

  • Corporate body
  • 1987

The Management Committee was created by a decision of the IBI Executive Council at its 4th Extraordinary Session in February 1987. Considering the recent resignation of the Director-General, the Council created the Management Committee to supervise the activities of the organization in his place. In addition to this, the Committee was charged with making recommendations for the reform of the management system in IBI. The Management Committee met five times over the course of 1987. Its mandate ended at the next session of the General Assembly when the acting interim Director-General was named.

UNESCO. General Conference

  • Corporate body
  • 1946-

The first session of the General Conference opened on 20 November in Paris with a solemn ceremony at the Sorbonne. It worked until 10 December in the Hotel Majestic with the participation of representatives from 30 governments entitled to vote. The first Director General of UNESCO, Julian Huxley, was elected on 6 December 1946.
From 1946 to 1952, the General Conference took place every year, since 1952 every second year.

UNESCO. Executive Board

  • Corporate body
  • 1946-

The first session of the Executive Board took place in 1946, from 26 November to 10 December.

At the outset, the Executive Board had 18 members, elected in their personal capacity, they were intellectuals chosen for their outstanding abilities and their independent outlook. While not representing their respective governments, they exercised collectively the powers delegated to them by the General Conference on behalf of the Conference as a whole.

Since 1952 five important amendments have been made to the constitutional provisions governing the Executive Board:

1954: Conferment on each member of the Board the status of representative of the government of the state of which (s)he was a national. Meanwhile, the Members of the EXB were still not states but persons designated by name. (The Ex. Board of UNESCO, I, 6)

1968: New method of election of members by the General Conference and modification of the duration of their term of office. In order to correct an imbalance in the distribution of seats on the Board, a system of electoral groups was introduced. Member States of the EXB were thus divided into five groups. In order to speed up the rotation of seats among nationals of the different Member States, the term of office of the members of the Board would be reduced to six years and would not be renewable. (The Ex. Board of UNESCO, I, 8)

1972: Reduction of the term of office from six to four years (without immediate re-eligibility). (The Ex. Board of UNESCO, I, 9)

1976: Change of Article V.A.4 of the Constitution, relating to the procedure for replacing members of the Board during their term of office. From now on, in exceptional circumstances, in the opinion of the represented state, it would be indispensable for its representative to be replaced even if that representative did not tender his resignation. (The Ex. Board of UNESCO, I, 10)

1991: Modification of Article V of the Constitution, with respect to the status of members of the Board, which with effect from the 27th session of the General Conference (1993) consists of Member States rather than of persons. (The Ex. Board of UNESCO, I, 11)

The number of Members of EXB has also increased. It rose from 20 in 1952 to 40 twenty years later and then to 58 in 1995. (The Ex. Board of UNESCO, I, 1)

UNESCO. Communication and Information Sector

  • Corporate body
  • Under diverse names and in different administrative set-ups since 1946

The Communication and Information Sector (CI) was established in its present form in 1990.

UNESCO. Natural Sciences Sector

  • Corporate body
  • In different administrative set-ups since 1946

The ‘S’ has been an integral part of UNESCO from its foundation in 1945. In 60 years of existence, UNESCO has acted as a catalyst for the establishment of many, now leading scientific unions and bodies such as the World Conservation Union (IUCN, 1948), and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, 1954) which saw the development of the internet. Initiatives with far-reaching implications for sustainable human security and well-being – such as the Man and the Biosphere programme, the World Heritage sites and the International Hydrological Programme – were launched in the first thirty years of UNESCO’s history.

Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics. Policies Department

  • Corporate body

One of the principal functions of the Department of Policies was to organize IBI’s major meetings on informatics policies and to participate in similar external activities. For example, the Department was particularly involved in the organization of: conferences on Transborder Data Flows; the SPINDE conference; and, IBI collaboration with the Cali and Yamoussoukro groups. In conjuction with the Director-general, the Department defined the policy vision or 'Doctrine' for the Organization. In keeping with this task, it carried out policy development activities through these meetings as well as through collaborations with other interested external actors.

Maheu, René

  • Person
  • 1905-1975

René Maheu was born in 1905. He was a professor of Philosophy and served as Cultural Attaché in London (1936-1939). After teaching in Morocco (1940-1942) he occupied a managerial post in the France-Afrique press agency in Algiers, before joining the Executive Office of the Resident-General in Rabat. In 1946 he entered UNESCO as Chief, Division of Free Flow of Information. In 1949 Jaime Torres Bodet appointed him Director of his Executive Office. In 1954 he became Assistant Director-General and was UNESCO’s representative at UN Headquarters from 1955 to 1958. Promoted Deputy Director-General in 1959, Acting Director-General in 1961, and in 1962 Director-General, for two successive mandates. He died in 1975.

Piaget, Jean

  • Person
  • 1896/08/09 - 1980/09/16

Mayor, Federico

  • Person
  • 1934-

Federico Mayor was born in 1934. Having accomplished an PhD in Pharmacy, he became director of the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Centre (Madrid, 1973-1978). He served as Under-secretary of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (1974-1976) and was a member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for Education and Science (1977-1978). He later became Adviser to the Prime Minister on these questions. Minister of Education and Science (1981-1982), in 1987 he was elected a Member of the European Parliament. After being Deputy Director-General of UNESCO from 1978 to 1981, he returned to the Organization as Special Adviser to the Director-General (1983-1984), whom he succeeded in 1987.

Matsuura, Koïchiro

  • Person
  • 1937-

Koïchiro Matsuura of Japan was appointed by the Organization's General Conference on November 12 1999 to serve as Director-General of UNESCO. Mr Matsuura, born in Tokyo in 1937, served as Ambassador of Japan to France from 1994 to 1999. He was educated at the Law Faculty of the University of Tokyo and at the Faculty of Economics of Haverford College (Pennsylvania, U.S.A.) and began his diplomatic career in 1959. Posts held by Mr Matsuura include those of Director-General of the Economic Co-operation Bureau of Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1988); Director-General of the North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1990); Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs. He also served as the Chairperson of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee for one year, until November 1999.

Evans, Luther

  • Person
  • 1902-1981

Luther Evans was born in Texas in 1902. Specialist in political science and international relations, he organized and directed the Historical Records Survey for the Works Project Administration, before joining the famous Library of Congress. He served as adviser to the United States delegation from the second to the seventh sessions of the General Conference. He occupied a seat on the Executive Board with effect from 1949, before being appointed Director-General in 1953. He died in 1981.

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