Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Parallel form(s) of name
- Commission préparatoire de l'UNESCO
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
In the first plenary meeting of the Commission Ellen Wilkinson, Minister of Education of Great Britain, was elected as the President of the Commission and the post of the Executive Secretary was held from 1 March 1946 by Julian Huxley until he was elected first Director-General of UNESCO on 6 December 1946.
On 4 November, Greece became the twentieth country to ratify the Constitution of UNESCO and by this act the organisation come legally into being. The first session of the General Conference opened on 20 November in Paris and worked until 10 December. Upon the election of the Director General on 6 December, the mandate of the Preparatory Commission expired and the Commission was dissolved, but its staff continued to work as the Secretariat of UNESCO under its chief administrative officer, the Director General.
London from January to May 1946: The offices of the Commission were situated at 49, Grosvenor Square and later at 46 and 47, Belgrave Square.
Paris: Move to Paris on 16 September 1946. The Commission and its staff were housed in the Hotel Majestic, 19, avenue Kléber (the house had been originally the residence of Queen Isabelle II of Spain from 1868, then after reconstruction a hotel from 1908. It was used during World War II by the occupying power, then by the American Army and finally it became an international conference center of the French Foreign Ministry when UNESCO moved in 1958 to its new headquarters, Place de Fontenoy).
Functions, occupations and activities
- to convoke the first session of the General Conference
- to prepare the provisional agenda for the first session and prepare documents and recommendations relating to the agenda
- to make studies and prepare recommendations concerning the programme and budget
- to provide without delay for immediate action on urgent needs of educational, scientific and cultural reconstruction in devastated countries.
Mandates/sources of authority
The Commission appointed an Executive Committee of fifteen Members (in fact fourteen: the fifteenth seat was left open for the Soviet Union which finally became Member State of UNESCO only on 21 April 1954) and an Executive Secretary under whose direction the international staff was to work. By October 1946 there were 167 staff members.
The appointment of a special technical sub-committee to examine the needs of the contries devastated by the war was already foreseen in the Instrument, and there were eight programme committees and five other committees or sub-committees in existence in all during the preparatory period of UNESCO.