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authority records

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).

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).

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).

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).

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 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.

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).

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).

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.

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 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.

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).

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).

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.

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.

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).

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.

FIDI - Fond de l'IBI pour le développement de l'informatique

  • Corporate body
  • 1980

Le fonds de l'IBI pour le développement de l'informatique (FIDI) fut un projet énoncé par le directeur général de l'IBI, Fermin Bernasconi, à l'occasion de la 10ème session ordinaire de l'Assemblée générale de l'organisation. Le projet consistait en la création d'un fond permanent destiné à financer et l'accord de prêts à taux avantageux aux pays en voie de développement, pour la réalisation de projets informatiques. Il fut demandé au directeur général de l'IBI la présentation d'un rapport sur la création de cette institution, présenté à l'Assemblée générale suivante.

Le projet prévoyait notamment un statut d'indépendance du fond vis-à-vis de l'IBI.

Il fut rédigé un projet de status et de réglement du FIDI.

Le FIDI demeura à l'état de projet et ne fut jamais opérationnel.

HOPE '87

  • Corporate body

International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation. Information Section

  • Corporate body
  • 1925-1946

The Information Section operated from 1925 until 1946. According to article XXV of the internal regulations of the IIIC of 1925, “the Information Section reports to the public about the activities of the Institute. It is also concerned with technical questions relating to the international spread of knowledge and ideas (the problem of books, the circulation of prints, etc.).”
Its primary goal was to make IIIC activities known to the public by means of international press reports. The Section therefore maintained connections to daily and periodical papers in various countries and corresponded with associations of journalists, editors, librarians, and authors. It sent regular digests of IIIC news to the daily press and published a bulletin. The Section also studied the activities of worldwide press agencies and the means to make them collaborate. In 1926 it drew up a project for an international press directory. The Section also organized and hosted journalist meetings at the IIIC in Paris.

The Information Section of the IIIC collected lists of “remarkable works” (a predecessor of UNESCO’s “Catalogue of Representative Works”), drawn up by National Commissions of Intellectual Cooperation in various countries, and facilitated their publication. It investigated, in collaboration with editors, the obstacles in the worldwide spreading of books, gathered experts on this topic, and produced statistics on the sale of books. The question of the spread of knowledge was connected to broadcasting, too, which the Information Section also covered. The Section edited reports on broadcasting and maintained contact with the World Broadcasting Union.

As part of these efforts, the IIIC sent a delegate to the 1928 press exhibition in Cologne, cooperated with the ILO on the condition of work for journalists, and cooperated with various national and international associations for radio journalism. From 1930 until 1937, the IIIC collaborated with the International Federation of Journalists. The IIIC also sent a delegate to the 1933 Congress of journalists in Madrid. Its first chief in 1925 was the Italian Guiseppe Prezzolini, who was assisted by an assistant and several referents.

The activities of the Section ceased together with the dissolution of the Institute in 1946.

UNESCO. Bureau of Strategic Planning

  • Corporate body
  • 2000-10-01 -

In 2000, as part of a larger organizational charge, the Bureau of Strategic Planning (BSP) was created. BSP inherited most of its responsibilities from the former Bureau of Studies, Programming and Evaluation (BPE). At this time, the responsibility for internal evaluation of programme implementation was moved to the new Office of Internal Oversight (IOS) which centralized all internal oversight functions. BSP’s role shifted to monitoring programme implementation as aligned with its primary role in the preparation of UNESCO’s programme and reports on the activities of the Organization submitted to the General Conference and Executive Board. BSP was also responsible for ensuring that the priorities set by the Governing Bodies were taken into account at all stages of programme elaboration and implementation. In 2000, the priorities were women, youth and the least developed countries.

Unlike its immediate predecessor BPE which had a relatively fixed internal structure, the structure of BSP was more fluid in response to the priorities identified by Member States. In 2003, beyond the Office of the Director, BSP was composed of the following units: the Division of Programme Planning, Implementation and Reporting (BSP/PMR), the Section for Women and Gender Equality (BSP/WGE), the Section for Youth (BSP/YTH) and the Focal Point for Knowledge Management, Networking and SISTER (BSP/KNS). SISTER, or the System of Information on Strategies, Tasks and the Evaluation of Results, is one of the Organization’s IT-based management tools. It can be consulted by Member States and encompasses the programming, management, monitoring and reporting of the Programme and Budget (C/5) and associated operational Workplans for regular programme activities and extrabudgetary projects (UNESCO. Bureau of Strategic Planning, undated). In 2004, the Culture of Peace Coordination Unit was created in BSP. The Division for Youth was moved to the Sector for Social and Human Sciences in 2006. The former Office for Foresight was moved into BSP in 2008, creating a Section for Foresight. In 2010, the Section for Central Analysis and Planning was moved from the Bureau of the Budget to BSP, but the Division for Gender Equality was moved to the Office of the Director-General.

In 2011, responsibility for coordination of cooperation with extra-budgetary funding sources was transferred to BSP and the Division of Cooperation with Extrabudgetary Funding Sources (CFS) was moved to the Bureau. At this time, BSP was also said to be responsible as focal point for priority projects: the global strategy for support to the least developed countries; the coordination of UNESCO’s contribution to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20); contributions to policy discussions by the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); the servicing of the General Conference’s Leaders Forum and of various high-level panels and senior expert groups established by the Director-General, as well as the implementation of the UNESCO policy for Category 2 institutes and centres. Beyond the Office of the Assistant Director-General, BSP had the following units as of 2011: the Administrative Unit; the Unit for Intersectoral Platform on a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence; the Team for Knowledge and Programme Management Issues and Support; Team for UN Reform; the Division for Programme and Budget; the Division of Cooperation with Extra-budgetary Funding Sources; and the Section for Foresight.

In 2014, the Section for Foresight and the Unit for the Intersectoral Platform on a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence were dissolved, with responsibility for their activities moved to the new Division of Social Transformations and Intercultural Dialogue in the Social and Human Sciences Sector.

At the beginning of 2016, BSP was reorganized into five sections under the Office of the Director: the Section for Strategic Planning, Monitoring and Reporting; the Section for Budget and Risk Management; the Section for Mobilizing Government Partner Resources; the Section for Mobilizing Resources from Multilateral and Private Partners; and, the Section for Cooperation with UN System.

BSP was led by Hans D’Orville from its creation in 2000 to 2014. Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores led BSP from January to September 2015. Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education, has been the Officer-in-Charge for BSP since that time.

UNESCO. Social and Human Sciences Sector. Executive Office

  • Corporate body
  • 2002 -

Since its creation, the organizational structure of UNESCO has included supporting offices to the heads of programme. From 1946 to 1948, there was an Office of the Head of Section for the Social Sciences Section. Following this, there was an Office of the Director for the Department of Social Science from 1948 until 1974. From 1976 to 2000, there has been an Office of the Assistant Director-General. In October 2000, Executive Offices were created in most sectors, pooling together coordination, evaluation, administrative and information services within the offices of the Assistant Directors-General. This structure was only introduced in the Social and Human Sciences Sector in 2002.

Smaller units have sometimes directly been placed in the Office of the Assistant Director-General or Executive Office. Over time, this has included the following units: Administrative Unit, 1976-2002; Publications Unit, 1976-1991; Publications and Documentation Unit in 1991-1992; Publications Unit, 1993-2002; Unit for the Least Developed Countries, 1991-1994; Unit for the Institutional Development of Social and Human Sciences (SHS/IST), 1991-1992; Coordination and Evaluation Unit, 1978-2005; Unit of Bio-ethics, 1992-1994; Coordinating Unit for Activities Relating to Women, 1993-1994; Unit for Tolerance, 1994-1996; World Summit for Social Development Unit, 1994-1997; Cooperation for Development, 1994-2001; Administration and Finance Section, 2003-2009; Anti-Poverty Program Unit, 2004-2006; Communication, Information and Publications Unit, 2003-2007; Supervisor Coordination Unit – Anti-Poverty and Human Rights Programme, 2007-2008; Unit for Coordination of Information and Publications, 2008; Section for the Coordination of Information and Publication, 2009; Unit for Communication and Information, 2010-2011; Unit for Publications, 2010-2011.

SHS/EO has not always had a head of unit since it was introduced in 2002. The Chiefs of the Executive Office were: John Nkinyangi, 2004; Alexander Schischlik, 2008-2010; (Acting) Maya Makhlouf 2010-2011; and, Julius Banda, 2011-present.

Department of Mass Communication

  • Corporate body
  • 1945-1974

Un service de Mass Communication a été mis en place dès la formation de l’UNESCO en 1945. En 1947, il prend le nom de Mass Media avant d’adopter définitivement celui de Department of Mass Communication en 1950. Rattaché tout d’abord directement au cabinet du directeur général, il passe sous la direction du directeur général adjoint pour la communication en 1967. En 1974, il rejoint l’Office of Free Flow of Information and International Exchanges pour former le Department of Free Flow of Information and Development of Communication.
L’information des masses découle de la mission de l’UNESCO de développer la connaissance et la compréhension mutuelle entre les Nations. Pour ce faire, elle produit des contenus à travers différents médias qu’elle diffuse largement. A sa création, l’information des masses comprend trois domaines principaux : la presse, le cinéma et la radio, ainsi que des domaines secondaires tels que l’enregistrement sonore et la télévision. La presse ne regroupe pas seulement les quotidiens ou hebdomadaires d’information mais aussi les revues spécialisées. L’édition rentre aussi dans son champ d’activité. Par film, il faut entendre le film documentaire, le film éducatif et scientifique, le film destiné aux spécialistes et le film destiné aux spectacles. Le champ de la radio s’étend aussi bien aux nouvelles, à la propagande et à l’information générale qu’à la publicité, l’émission de variétés, l’enseignement, la science, l’art et le drame. L’information des masses a pour but de favoriser la circulation de l’information à travers le monde sur des sujets comme la paix, le progrès humain, l’éducation, la science et la culture. Le Department of Mass Communication cherche à la fois l’amélioration des moyens et des techniques d’information et la réduction des obstacles à la circulation internationale de l’information. Ainsi, de 1947 à 1951, il a réalisé une enquête sur l’état des moyens de communication dans nombre de pays membres. Il coopère sur ces sujets avec des organisations nationales ou internationales et organise des conférences entre des pays sur les sujets de communication.

World Heritage Convention

  • Corporate body
  • 1972-

In 1959, UNESCO launched an international safeguarding campaign to save the Abu Simbel and Philae temples which were in danger of being flooded and destroyed as the result of the building of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt. The success of the campaign, which involved donations from over 50 countries, led to other safeguarding campaigns and eventually the preparation of a draft convention on the protection of cultural heritage with the help of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

On 16 November 1972, the Convention concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by the 17th General Conference of UNESCO. The Convention joined together the concepts of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural properties, and recognized the need to preserve the balance between the two. The idea of combining the conservation of cultural and natural heritage came from a 1965 conference in the United Sates of America which called for a "World Heritage Trust" and similar proposals made by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1968. In 1975, the World Heritage Convention formally came into force after its ratification by the first 20 State Parties. The same year, the List of World Heritage in Danger and the World Heritage Fund were established.

In 1978, the World Heritage Committee developed the selection criteria for inscribing properties on the World Heritage List and created the Operation Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention. In 1992, the Operational Guidelines were amended to include the category of “cultural landscapes,” which was a step in recognizing indigenous values as they relate to landscapes. In 1994, the Committee also adopted the Global Strategy for a Balanced, Representative, and Credible World Heritage List in order to address imbalances in the list, including the regions and periods represented.

On the 30th anniversary of the Convention in 2002, the Committee adopted the Budapest Declaration on World Heritage and four key Strategic Objectives: Credibility, Conservation, Capacity-building, and Communication. In 2007, these objectives were expanded to include a fifth “C” - Community.

In 2018, The Warsaw Recommendation on Recovery and Reconstruction of Cultural Heritage was developed as guidelines for the recovery and reconstruction of cultural heritage sites in cases of armed conflict or natural disasters.

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.

Lin, Yutang

  • Person
  • 1895/10/10 - 1976/03/26

Lin Yutang, a Chinese national, was Head of UNESCO’s Arts and Letters Division from 1948-1949. Lin was born 10 October 1895, in Changchow, China. He pursued his higher education at St. John’s University in Shanghai; Harvard University, USA; Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany; and, Leipzig University, Germany. He earned the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts, St. John’s University (1916); Master of Arts, Harvard University (1922); and Doctorate in Linguistics, Leipzig University (1923).

Lin began his career as an English teacher at Tsinghua University, Peking, from 1916-1919. During this time, he also proposed methods to improve the Chinese indexing system and served on the Preparatory Committee for Standardizing the National Language. Upon returning to China after his studies, Lin became an English Professor at Peking National University from 1923-1926. In 1925, he also served on the Chinese Roman Phonetic Transcription Research Committee. Between 1926 and 1927, Lin moved several times, occupying academic posts and then a post as secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After this period, Lin continued to hold academic positions, but focused mainly on his writing as well as pursuing his invention of a Chinese character-based typewriter. In 1928, he published the English textbooks 'Kaiming English Books'. He began to write for the English-language 'The China Critic Weekly' and was Editor-in-chief of 'Academia Sinica' from 1929-1934. In 1930, he co-founded the Chinese branch of P.E.N. International in Shanghai. Lin founded or co-founded the journals 'Analects Fortnightly,' 'World of Mankind,' 'Cosmic Wind,' and 'Western Winds' in the period 1932-1935. Following the publication of his book 'My Country and My People' in 1935, Lin moved to the United States. His numerous publications from this period, included: 'The Importance of Living' (1937), 'Moment in Peking' (1939) and 'The Wisdom of China and India' (1942).

Lin began his brief career at UNESCO July 28, 1948. He resigned for May 15, 1949. He continued to move between Europe, China and the United States as he pursued his writing and served in various academic positions. Among Lin’s works from this period, he published 'Lin Yutang's Chinese-English dictionary of modern usage' in 1972. Lin died on March 26, 1976 in Hong Kong.

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.

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).

Elmandjra, Mahdi

  • Person
  • 1933-03-13 - 2014-06-13

Mahdi Elmandjra was born 13 March 1933 in Rabat, Morocco. He started his high-school education at Lycée Lyautey in Casablanca in 1944 and received his Baccalaureate in 1948. He then went to Putney School, Vermont, USA from 1948 to 1950. Elmandjra obtained a B.A. in Chemistry and Political Science from Cornell University in New York in 1954, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics in 1957.

Elmandjra had a varied career, including the following positions. He worked as an assistant at the Faculty of Law in Rabat, Morocco from 1957 to 1958. Following this, he filled the position of Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Morocco to the UN in New York from 1958 to 1959.

From 1961 to 1963, Elmadjra worked at UNESCO as Chief of the Africa Unit in the Bureau of Relations with Member States, and from 1963 to 1966 he worked as Director, Executive Office of the Director-General. Between 1966 and 1970, he served as Assistant Director-General of Social Sciences, Human Sciences and Culture. He went on to work as Professor and Researcher at the Center of International Studies in London in 1970. Returning to UNESCO, Elmandjra served as Assistant Director-General for Pre-Programming from 1971 to 1975, and Special Adviser to the Director-General from 1975 to 1976. As Special Advisor, he was charged with studying the modalities of cooperation between UNESCO and the regional and national Arab funds, in particular with respect to the financing of operational activities.

After his career at UNESCO, he taught at the Faculté des Sciences Juridiques Economiques et Sociales, Université Mohamed V, in Rabat between the years 1976 to 1979. Subsequently he worked as Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations Development Programme, and he held the position of Special Consultant to the United Nations during the International Year of Disabled Persons from 1980 to 1981.

Elmandjra wrote extensively throughout his career, and several of his books have been translated into different languages. His many publications include: The United Nations System, 1973; No Limits to Learning (Report to the Club of Rome), 1979; Human Rights and Development, 1989; Islam and the Future, 1990; The First World Cultural War, 1991; Rétrospective des Futurs, 1992; Cultural Diversity Key to Survival, 1995; and Regionalization of Globalization, 2000.

Throughout his career, Elmandjra received several distinctions and awards, including: the Curzon Prize of French literature at Cornell University, 1953; the Rockefeller Award for International Relations, London School of Economics, 1955; the Order of Independence of the Kingdom in Jordan, 1959; the Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres , 1970; Prix de la Vie Économique, Paris, 1981; Grand Medal of the French Academy of Architecture, 1984; the Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France, 1985; Order of the Rising Sun (III), Japan, 1986; the Medal of Peace the Albert Einstein International Academy, 1991; and the Award of the World Future Studies Federation, 1995.

Mahdi Elmandjra died 13 June 2014.

Fournier, Francine

  • Person

"Dr. Francine Fournier achieved her doctorate in political science at the University of Montreal. She taught at the political science departments of the Universities of Montreal and Quebec (Montreal). She was appointed Secretary of the Quebec Council on the Status of Women and later became President of the Quebec Human Rights Commission from 1979 until 1985. From 1988 to 1990, she was Secretary-General of the Canadian National
Commission for UNESCO. After her engagement with UNESCO she was President of the Multipartite national programme of reconciliation for the Orphans of Duplessis." (UNESCO, 2007, 60 Women..., p.282).

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.

Madariaga, Salvador de

  • Person
  • 1886-1978

Salvador de Madariaga was born in Corona, Spain, in 1886. He studied at the Instituto Cisneros in Madrid and in France at the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole des Mines. He worked as a railway engineer from 1912 to 1916, and simultaneously engaged in literary and journalistic work in the Spanish press, specialising in French and British affairs. In 1916, he joined the London Times.

He served as a technical Attaché to the Spanish delegation to the Barcelona Conference on the freedom of transit (1921), and began to work at the League of Nations (LN) the same year. He became a member of the Information Section at the LN Secretariat (1921), and went on to head the Disarmament Section from 1921 until 1927. His diplomatic career was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. During the Second Spanish Republic, he served as Minister of Public Education, a post from which he resigned after five weeks to become successively ambassador to the US and France. De Madariaga also continued to represent Spain at the LN for this period. Forced into exile after the defeat of the Republicans, he focused on teaching, historical research, journalism and literature. After the Second World War he was elected president of the cultural department of the European movement, and then served as co-founding president of the College of Europe in Bruges until 1972. He later retired to Locarno where he died in 1978.

A member of the ICIC, de Madariaga was involved in the activities of the Sub-Committee on Arts and Letters during the 1920s, before becoming a member of the Permanent Committee on Arts and Letters in 1931. In 1936 the ICIC selected him as President of the Committee of Directors of the International Museums Office (IMO). A novelist and poet, he participated in the correspondences and interviews, organised and published by the IIIC: Entretiens sur Goethe (1932), Pour une Société des Esprits (1933), L'Avenir de la Culture (1933), L'Avenir de l'esprit européen (1934), L' Art et la réalité. L' Art et l'Etat (1935), Vers un nouvel humanisme (1937) and Le Destin prochain des lettres (1938).

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