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authority records

Adiseshiah, Malcolm S.

  • Person
  • 1910-04-18 - 1994-11-21

Malcolm Sathianathan Adiseshiah was born in Vellore, India, on 18 April 1910. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Loyola College in Madras in 1930, and then studied at King’s College, Cambridge University, and the London School of Economics, earning his PhD in 1940.

Adiseshiah began his career as a Lecturer in Economics at St. Paul’s College in Calcutta from 1931 to 1936. He then became Professor of Economics at Madras Christian College from 1940 to 1946. At this time, he was a member of the group of economists who developed the Ten-year Plan for the Industrialization of India. Adiseshiah moved to become Associate General Secretary at the World University Services in Geneva from 1946 to 1948.

Later in 1948, Adiseshiah began his career at UNESCO as Deputy Head, Exchange of Persons Service. He moved to become Head of the Technical Assistance Unit within the Office of the Director-General in 1950. After an organizational change, Adiseshiah was named Head of the new Technical Assistance Service. In 1952, the Service became the Technical Assistance Department and Adiseshiah became its Director. At the Eighth Session of the General Conference in Montevideo, the two posts of Assistant Director-General (ADG) were officially introduced and Adiseshiah was named Assistant Director-General along with Rene Maheu who had been provisionally appointed as such earlier that year. In addition to replacing the Director-General as needed, Maheu was responsible for the diplomacy of the Organization and Adiseshiah was to concentrate on the technical assistance programme, the integration of the technical assistance programme with the regular programme, and the coordination of administration of programme activities in general. Adiseshiah formally started as ADG at the start of 1955. The division of duties between the ADGs remained fluid. In 1960, Adiseshiah was said to be responsible for the administration and management of the Secretariat and for UNESCO’s field programmes. For the period 1960 to 1963, he was given the responsibility for helping newly independent countries of Africa. Adiseshiah was responsible for the development of the Karachi Plan for universal primary education for Asia and educational development and science plans for Africa and Latin America.

Again in the face of larger organizational change (departments becoming sectors with an Assistant Director-General at head as opposed to a Director), Adiseshiah was made Deputy Director-General (DDG) in 1963. In this role, in addition to replacing the Director-General as required, Adiseshiah was given special responsibility for coordinating organization-wide programme services relating to UNESCO’s work on the contribution of education in all its forms to economic development and for programme services relating to the direct relationship of science and technology to national progress. He also oversaw UNESCO’s cooperation with the United Nations Special Fund and was specifically charged by the Director-General to organize and direct a system of inspection of field activities. Adiseshiah served as DDG until his retirement from UNESCO at the end of 1970. For a period of five months in 1969, he also acted as interim Assistant Director-General of the Natural Sciences Sector. The Sixteenth Session of the General Conference in 1970 expressed its high esteem of Adiseshiah, noting that he had "served the Organization with unstinting devotion and energy, labouring untiringly, in particular, to advance the cause of development and international co-operation" (16 C/Resolution 0.9, 1971).

After his retirement, Adiseshiah was a member of the Tamil Nadu State Planning Commission. From 1970 to 1971, he founded with his wife the Madras Institute of Development Studies. He was the Institute’s first Director and remained Chairman of its Governing Council until his death. He was President of the Indian Economic Association from 1973 to 1974, President of the Indian Adult Education Commission, and a member of the Central Advisory Board of Education, the Indian Council of Social Science Research, and the National Council of Teacher Education. Beginning in 1975, Adisehiah was named Vice-Chancellor of Madras University. In 1978, he was nominated to the Rajya Sabha for a six-year term. He was President of the International Council of Adult Education. Adiseshiah served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Institute for Educational Planning from 1981 to 1989. He also served as Chairman for the jury of UNESCO’s literacy prizes.

Adiseshiah died in Madras, India, on 21 November 1994. The UNESCO Malcolm Adiseshiah International Literacy Prize was created in 1998 from a contribution by India. The Prize was awarded annually from 1998 to 2001 for meritorious and effective contribution to the struggle against illiteracy. Among his many works, Adiseshiah published the books Let my country awake (1970) and It is time to begin (1972).

Almeida, Miguel A. Ozorio de

  • Person
  • 1890-1952

Miguel Osório de Almeida was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1890. He completed a degree in medicine at the University of Rio de Janeiro and obtained his doctorate in 1911. He occupied various posts during his career: Director of the laboratory at the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Director of the animal biology Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture, Director-General of the National Health and Social Council, professor at the college of agriculture and veterinary medicine, as well as, professor and dean of the Rio de Janeiro State University. His works, notably in neurophysiology, earned him a global academic reputation, particularly in Europe. The Paris Academy of Medicine awarded him the Prix Sicard. He also received the Prix Einstein from the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. As a writer he published well-received essays, and he became the Secretary of the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 1936, Secretary-General from 1937–1945, and its president in 1949. He died in Rio de Janeiro in 1952.

Osório de Almeida participated at a large number of international scientific conferences. He was also involved in the “Correspondances” project, organised by the Permanent Committee of Arts and Letters in 1933, which was published as “Pour une Société des Esprits”. Osório de Almeida became a member of the Brazilian Committe of Intellectual Cooperation, before serving as its president between 1936 and 1946. In 1937, he presented a report on inter-American intellectual cooperation at the second Conference of National Committees of Intellectual Cooperation in Paris. He joined the ICIC in 1939. The National Committees of Intellectual Cooperation of the Americas continued to meet during the Second World War, and prepare in November 1941 for the IIIC to be transferred to an American country, or at least to create a provisional centre. It was also planned that Osório de Almeida direct an inter-American Committee of Intellectual Cooperation, a plan that was not fulfilled, however, owing to the US entry into the war.

In 1949, UNESCO signed a contract with Osório de Almedia for a detailed report with recommendations and suggestions on how to proceed with resolution 5.7 from the 3rd General Conference: " to continue preparations for the publication of books which will provide, for general and specialist readers, an understanding of the scientific and cultural aspects of the history of mankind, of the interdependence of peoples and cultures and of their contributions, including that of labour organizations, to the common heritage" (General Conference, 3rd session. 1948). Osório de Almedia submitted the report in August 1949 and it was circulated to member states.

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).

Anesaki, Masaharu

  • Person
  • 1873–1949

Masaharu Anesaki (姉崎 正治) was born in Kyoto in 1873, son of a samurai in the service of Prince Kastura. After high school in Kyoto, he enrolled at the University of Tokyo (then Tokyo Imperial University) in 1893 to study philosophy. He wrote a dissertation in German entitled “Die Freiheitslehre Schellings” (Schelling’s doctrine of liberty). He specialised in religious studies and received his PhD in 1898. Two years later, he was appointed university professor at Tokyo.

Between 1900 and 1903 he went on a study trip to Europe, while pursuing religious and historical studies in Germany and Britain. In 1905, a chair of religious studies was especially created for him at the University of Tokyo. Following his visit to Europe, he focused on Buddhism and Christianity, while continuing his works in philosophy. In 1913 he published a Japanese translation of Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation.

Between 1913 and 1915, Anesaki was a visiting professor at Harvard, USA. In 1919 he was invited to lecture at the Collège de France, Paris. His lectures were later published in 1921 as “Quelques pages de l’histoire religieuse du Japon.” The same year he participated as a Japanese delegate at the Pan-Pacific Congress of Education in Honolulu. A powerful earthquake destroyed the library and university of Tokyo in 1923. In response, Anesaki used his international reputation in order to find ways to reconstruct the buildings.

He continued to represent Japan at the Pan-Pacific Congress of Education alongside Nitobe Inazo (新渡戸 稲造), Under-Secretary General of the League of Nations between 1920 and 1928. In March 1933, Japan withdrew from the LN. Anesaki, however, became a member of the ICIC the following year and remained so until 1938. He was director of Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai (the Association for International Cultural Relations), to which the Japanese Committee of Intellectual Cooperation was attached in 1936. In July 1937, Anesaki participated in the interviews organised by the Permanent Committee on Arts and Letters as a member of the Japanese Committee of Intellectual Cooperation. The work was published in the following year under the title: “Le Destin prochain des lettres”. The same year, the IIIC published work by Anesaki entitled Art, life and nature in Japan. The Japanese government decided on 2 October 1939 to withdraw all experts working for the LN, and the Japanese Committee of Intellectual Cooperation stopped its activities on 1 April 1939. He died in 1949.

Appell, Paul

  • Person
  • 1855-1930

Paul Emile Appell, known as Paul Appell, was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1855 and died in Paris in 1930.

A graduate of l’Ecole normale Supérieure in engineering, he held the chair of Rational Mechanics at the Sorbonne from 1882 until 1913, when he succeeded Henri Poincaré as head of the department of celestial mechanics at the Sorbonne. He became President of the Academie des Sciences in 1914, then Rector of the University of Paris. He was also involved in the establishment of the Cité Universitaire campus for students in Paris.

As President of the Executive Committee of the French LN Association, he advocated the establishment of an international organisation, similar to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and which would be concerned with global intellectual life. He was involved in the foundation of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC), and from 1927 until his death in 1930 he served as French delegate to the ICIC.

Ascher, Charles

  • Person

Charles Ascher served as professor of political science at Brooklyn College from 1949 to his retirement in 1966. He was also secretary and general counsel of the City Housing Corporation, builder of the experimental developments Sunnyside (Queens, N.Y.) and Radburn (New Jersey), founding executive secretary of the Public Administration Clearing House in Chicago, regional director of the National Housing Agency from 1942-1947 and executive officer for programs at UNESCO.

Avenol, Joseph

  • Person
  • 1879-1952

Joseph Louis Anne Avenol, better known as Joseph Avenol, was born in 1879 in Melle, France, and died in 1952 in Dulier, Switzerland. A high-ranking public servant at the French Ministry of Finance, he was finance expert at the French Embassy in London between 1916 and 1923. In addition to this work, he was appointed French representative to the Inter-Allied Food Council in 1916, and later in 1919 became a member of the Permanent Committee of the Supreme Economic Council.

As a financial expert on the French delegation he was sent to the economic and financial conferences at Brussels and Genoa, convoked by the League of Nations (LN) in 1920 and 1923 respectively. In February 1923, he became Under Secretary-General of the LN, succeeding Jean Monnet. In this capacity he tried to support the financial reconstruction of countries affected by the First World War. Henri Bonnet, future director of the IIIC, was his chief of staff during this time. On 1 July 1933, Avenol replaced Eric Drummond as Secretary-General of the LN. He resigned in August 1940.

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).

Banerjee, Debendra Nath

  • Person
  • 1895-?

Born in 1895, Debendra Nath Banerjee was an Indian economist and jurist, professor of political economy at the University of Calcutta and a member of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC) from 1922 until 1923. He published extensively on Indian constitutional law and politics.

Bartók, Béla

  • Person
  • 1881-1945

Béla Bartók was born in 1881 in Nagyszentmiklós (today known as Sânnicolau Mare), Hungary. He gave his first concert at the age of six and went on to study music at Pressburg (today Bratislava) at the Conservatory in Vienna, and at the Royal Hungarian Music Academy in Budapest, where he became professor in 1907.

In addition to his educational career, he lead investigations into Hungarian, Rumanian, and Slovak folk music, and called for them to be recorded. His musical compositions earned him an international reputation and he embarked upon several worldwide tours during the 1920s.

In 1931, he joined the Permanent Committee on Arts and Letters of the IIIC. He was also a member of the Hungarian Committee of Intellectual Cooperation. Having emigrated to the United States in 1940, he died in 1945 in New York.

Behrstock, Julian

  • Person
  • 1917-1997

Julian Behrstock was a UNESCO staff member for 28 years until his retirement in 1976. He entered the Department of mass information in 1948 as responsible for the World Programme for Book development. He served as director of the Division of Free Flow of Information and the promotion of books and readership from 1967 to 1976.
Before arriving at UNESCO, Behrstock graduated from Northwestern University and worked as a newspaperman in Paris and later in U.S. Government service in London and Paris. In 1977, upon retirement from UNESCO, he won the International Book Award "for outstanding services to the cause of books".

Bekri, Chikh

  • Person
  • 1927-04-28 -

Chikh Bekri was born on 28 April 1927 in Geryville, Algeria. He obtained a License ès Lettres from the Université d’Alger and an Agrégation de lettres from the Université de Paris.

Bekri worked in Algiers from 1953 to 1958 as a Professeur at Lycée de Boufarik and Lycée Bugeaud. In 1960, he was named both Proviseur at the Lycée de Constantine and Director of the Collège universitaire de Constantine. In 1962, he was named Rector for the Region of Constantine. After independence, he was appointed Secrétaire général of the Ministry of Education of Algeria.

Bekri joined UNESCO in 1964 as Programme Specialist in the Education Sector, Operational Divisions, Arab States Division. He then moved to the Division of Educational Financing in 1968. During this time, he directed numerous missions for the development of education in Member States in the framework of the programme of cooperation with the World Bank. In 1973, he was appointed the first Director of the Regional Office for Education in the Arab States in Beirut. He served in this capacity until 1975 when he was appointed Acting Deputy Assistant Director-General of the Education Sector. In 1976, he was confirmed in his post as Deputy Assistant Director-General of the Education Sector, responsible for operations, but was also named Acting Director of the Executive Office of the Director-General. Indeed, later in 1976 he was named Director of the Executive Office of the Director-General. Bekri was promoted to the rank of Assistant Director-General in 1981 and, in 1982, in addition to his responsibilities as Director of the Executive Office, he was assigned responsibility for the coordination of services not-integrated into the sector structure, such as, for example, the Office of the Mediator and the Secretariats of the Governing Bodies. He was also responsible for liaising with regional coordinators and for the implementation of the decentralization policy. In the context of a broader reorganization, Bekri became responsible for overseeing the work of the new Bureau of Studies, Action and Coordination for Development as well in 1985. The following year, he was appointed Assistant Director-General responsible for the International Bureau of Education. He held this position until his retirement in 1987.

Some of his publications include: L’UNESCO : une entreprise erronée?, 1991; L'Algérie aux IIe/IIIe siécles (VIIIe/IXe), 2004; and, Le royaume rostemide : le premier état algérien, 2005.

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).

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