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authority records

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.

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).

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.

Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict

  • 1954 - Present

The question of protecting cultural heritage from the harms of war has been grappled with since the 1500s, and by the late nineteenth century, there was a general consensus that countries should refrain from bombing buildings dedicated to art, science, and charitable purposes if they were not being used militarily. This consensus was codified in the 1907 Hague Rules, which quickly proved to be inadequate in protecting cultural property from the destruction caused by the First World War. In response, several efforts were made to create a legal norm against the destruction of cultural property in armed conflict, including in the draft list of war crimes by a 1919 sub-commission of the Commission on Responsibilities of the Preliminary Peace Conference, the Netherlands Archaeological Society’s 1919 report asserting that harm caused to monuments and works of art was a wrongdoing to humanity as a whole, the 1923 Hague Draft Air Rules calling for cultural property to be spared from bombardment, and the Treaty on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments (Roerich Pact) adopted in 1935 by the Governing Board of the Pan American Union.

In 1937, the League of Nations International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation (ICIC) requested the International Organization of Museums (OIM) to continue its work on the protection of cultural property with the aim of producing a draft convention. With the help of experts, the OIM was able to produce a Preliminary Draft International Convention for the Protection of Historic Buildings and Works of Art in Times of War in 1938. However, plans to convene a diplomatic conference to adopt the draft convention were thwarted by the start of the Second World War. The OIM resorted to producing a Declaration on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Course of Armed Conflict, which lacked the compliance regime included in the draft convention. When UNESCO was established in 1946, it resumed the ICIC’s work on the protection of cultural property. Per the mandate of the 1949, UNESCO General Conference, the Director-General established a meeting of experts in 1950 to draft a convention on the protection of cultural property based on the OIM draft.

The 1954 Hague Convention was finally adopted by UNESCO along with a series of regulations and a Protocol on 14 May 1954 at the Intergovernmental Conference on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict hosted by the Netherlands government and entered into force on 7 August 1956. The Convention outlines a series of precautionary measures State Parties are obliged to adopt in times of peace to protect everything that falls within the Convention's definition of cultural property, including monuments of architecture, art or history, archaeological sites, works of art, manuscripts, books, other objects of artistic, historical or archaeological interest, and scientific collections. The Convention also established the Meeting of the High Contracting Parties, a governing body composed of the State Parties, which assembles every two years to discuss and provide updates on the implementation of the Convention. Violations of the Convention in following years later led to the adoption on 26 March 1999 of the Second Protocol, which supplements the Convention with a more concrete institutional framework for its implementation.

Cornejo, Mariano

  • Person
  • 1866-1942

Mariano Cornejo was born in Arequipa, Peru, in 1867. He studied law and political science at the National University of San Marcos in Lima. In 1896 he defended his doctoral thesis in political science. He practiced for several years as a lawyer. In 1896 he set up a chair of sociology at the National University of San Marcos. In 1897 he was elected as a democratic deputy and in 1901 he became President of the Chamber of Deputies. In 1905, Cornejo was made a plenipotentiary minister in Spain in order to defend Peruvian interests in the question of its borders with Ecuador. When the diplomatic negotiations failed, he returned to Lima where he again worked as a professor of sociology at San Marcos (1911). The following year, he was elected a Senator and occupied this function until 1918. He supported the coup d’etat of 4 July 1919 which brought Augusti B. Leguia the presidency of Peru, and Cornejoy was given a ministerial post. He also presided over the constituent national assembly that same year, which spread the constitutional text edited by Cornejo, and he established a new code of procedural criminal law.

In 1920, Cornejo was made a plenipotentiary minister in France and a permanent delegate at the League of Nations (LN). In November 1928 he became a Peruvian delegate at the IIIC. He advocated an internationalist vision of the Organisation of Intellectual Cooperation, claiming that “one had to liberate culture from excessive nationalism” (Luchaire, 1965). He therefore opposed the creation of an American Institute of Intellectual Cooperation in 1929, the Pan-American Institute, which he feared could result in a North American bias. Whilst in France, he was made a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour and was elected to the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in February 1929. Between 1929 and 1930, Cornejo was also a member of the ICIC. He presided over the fourth International Congress of Sociology in 1930. In December 1930, the Peruvian author Ventura Garcia Calderón (1886–1959) replaced him as delegate at the IIIC. The following year Cornejo left his post at the ICIC to the Colombian writer Baldomero Sanín Cano. Cornejo died in Paris in 1942.

Costa du Rels, Adolfo

  • Person
  • 1891-1980

Adolfo Costa du Rels was born in Sucre, Bolivia, in 1891. After studying classics and law at the Sorbonne in Paris and spending time in the Bolivian mining regions, he entered the diplomatic service where he successively served in the following roles: attaché at the Bolivian embassy in France, chargé d’affaires in Chile, deputy in Bolivia, advisor at the Bolivian embassy in France, Bolivian delegate to the Pan-American Conference in Havana in 1928 (where he was rapporteur for the Havana convention on the protection of artists’ and authors’ rights), delegate to the IIIC, delegate to the General Assembly of the League of Nations (LN), Vice-President of the eleventh session of the Assembly (1930), and member of the Permanent Committee on Arts and Letters from 1931. He was appointed a plenipotentiary minister in Switzerland and at the Vatican between 1937 and 1943, then Bolivia’s ambassador to Argentina from 1943 until 1944. Between 1940 and 1946 he was the last President of the Council of the LN. After the war, he served as Bolivian Ambassador to France from 1948 to 1952 and, in 1973, as Ambassador to UNESCO.

Besides his diplomatic career, he wrote novels, short stories, dramas and essays. He was a regular contributor to the French journal Le Temps. In 1976, he received the Bolivian National Prize of literature. Costa du Rels died in 1980.

Council of Europe

  • Corporate body
  • 1949/05/05 -

“The Council of Europe was founded to promote European construction through a common democratic and legal area, structured notably around the European Convention on Human Rights” (Guide to the Archives of International Organizations).

It was founded on May 5, 1949, by 10 western European countries—Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. From the 1950s to the 1980s, these original members were joined by 13 others and with the demise of communist regimes throughout Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s, the Council significantly expanded its membership (Encyclopedia Britannica).

“The Council of Europe addresses issues of common concern to its members, including human rights, crime prevention, drug abuse, environmental protection, bioethical issues, and migration. To manage these affairs, the council has devised more than 160 international agreements, treaties, and conventions that have replaced literally tens of thousands of bilateral treaties between various European states. Among the most important of its agreements are the European Convention on Human Rights (1950), the European Cultural Convention (1954), the European Social Charter (1961), the European Convention on the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment (1987), the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1995), and the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (1997). After the collapse of communism in eastern and central Europe in 1989–91, the council aided the countries of the region to overhaul their constitutions and legal codes and to democratize their political systems.” (Encyclopedia Britannica).

Curie, Marie

  • Person
  • 1867-1934

Maria Salomea Sklodowska was born in Warsaw in 1867. She began her studies at the Flying University, a clandestine Polish university that allowed women to study, before enrolling in the faculty of sciences in Paris in 1891 where she took up a degree in physics. In 1894, she joined Gabriel Lippmann’s laboratory for physics research, where she got to know Pierre Curie, an instructor at the School of Physics and Chemistry. The couple married the following year. Between 1895 and 1896, Marie Curie prepared her examination for the teaching of mathematics, then worked on her doctoral thesis on the study of the influences of uranium following the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Röntgen in 1895. In 1898, together with her husband, she discovered polonium and, a few months later, radium. In 1900, Marie Curie began to teach physics education at the Ecole normale supérieure. In 1903 Marie Curie received, together with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel, the Nobel Prize in Physics. She was the first woman to receive this award, and went on to become the first woman to receive the Médailles Davy the same year.

At the Solvay Conference in 1911, she met future collaborators of intellectual cooperation, including Paul Langevin, Max Planck and Albert Einstein. She received her second Nobel Prize (in Chemistry) the same year, in recognition of her discovery of polonium and radium.

Known internationally, Marie Curie was much in demand and traveled a lot during her life. In 1922 when the ICIC was founded, she represented France alongside Henri Bergson at the Organisation of Intellectual Cooperation. However, Curie remained apolitical and neutral towards intellectual cooperation. In 1926, she suggested several projects for the field of scientific cooperation under the auspices of the IIIC: on 16 June 1926, for example, she proposed to form an international funding system for post-graduates and for gatherings of these scholars in their various research labs (“sur la question des bourses internationales, pour l’avancement des sciences et le développment des laboratoires”). In November 1926, she attracted the attention of the IIIC on the disadvantages of mixed scientific publications, i.e. academic journals bringing together several disciplines. She underscored the inconvenience this meant for specialised libraries and for researchers who had to buy entire volumes for individual articles, and she thus proposed to review the form of publications. In July 1928, she was elected Vice-President of the ICIC alongside Jules Destrée, with Gilbert Murray as President. In 1932 she presided over the interviews organised by the Committee on Arts and Letters in Madrid, published the next year under the title “L’Avenir de la Culture”. She worked for the ICIC until 1933.

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