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The History of UNESCO:
The declaration of UNESCO was signed in London on 16 November 1945 by thirty seven countries and came into force on 4 November 1946 following approval and ratification by twenty of its signatories.
The governments solemnly and formally declared: "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed. A peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the people of the world, and the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind".
The governments signing the Constitution believed "in full and equal opportunities for education for all, in the unrestricted pursuit of objective truth and in the free exchange of ideas and knowledge."
The purpose of the Organization was defined as: "to contribute to peace and security by promoting cooperation among nations through education, science and culture in order to promote universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the people of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations."
The main predecessors of UNESCO were: (1)The International Committee of Intellectual Co-operation (CICI), Geneva 1922-1946, (2)CICI’s executing agency, the International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation (IICI), Paris, 1925-1946, (3) The International Bureau of Education (IBE), Geneva, 1925-1968; the latter has since 1969 been part of the UNESCO Secretariats under its own statutes and laws.
A Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME) started its meetings in London on 16 November 1942 and continued until 5 December 1945. Eighteen governments were represented. Upon the proposal of CAME, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF) was assembled in London from 1 to 16 November 1945. Forty-four governments were represented. On 16 November 1945 the Constitution of UNESCO was signed and a Preparatory Commission established. The first session of the General Conference took place in Paris from 19 November to 10 December 1946 with the participation of representatives from 30 governments entitled to vote.
Functions of UNESCO:
The functions of UNESCO are limited of course into the boundaries of education, science, and culture. Taking that into consideration, to fulfill its mandate, UNESCO performs five principal functions:(1) Prospective Studies: what forms of education, science, culture and communication for tomorrow's world? (2) The advancement, transfer and sharing of knowledge: relying primarily on research, training and teaching activities. (3) Standard-setting action: the preparation and adoption of international instruments and statutory recommendations. (4) Expertise: provided to Member States for their development policies and projects in the form of "technical co-operation". (5)Exchange of specialized information.
Key political allies:
UNESCO’s key political allies are the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Union of South Africa, Australia, India, Mexico, France, Dominican Republic, Turkey, Egypt, Norway, Canada, China, Denmark, United States of America, Czechoslovakia, Brazil, Lebanon, and Greece, seeing as they are the first twenty countries to sign onto and ratify its constitution back in 1946. Japan, Germany, the USSR, later on, Russia, and Spain joined later on, after the Cold War, or the de-colonization.
UNESCO’s main ally since 25 September 2002 has been the United States of America, when it reentered UNESCO, after pulling out in 1984 for several reasons, mainly concerning budget and financial issues. Ten countries pulled out in total, including South Africa, Singapore, and Portugal, and eight reentered.
Members of UNESCO include the following countries, and one representative from each: Algeria, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chad, Chile, China, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Slovakia, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. All these countries support and carry out all that is decided upon in UNESCO conferences, therefore, they are considered allies.
UNESCO’s regular budget for the years 2000-2001 was $544 million composed of mandatory contributions from the member states.
While the extra budgetary funds reached an estimated $250 million for the same year. Of these, $62 million came from the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) and other UN agencies, and $113 million from Funds-In-Trust (FIT). The FIT are funds for specific projects put at the disposal of UNESCO by donor countries to benefit a third world country.
Until 1970 the United Nations Technical Assistance (TA, EPTA), 1950-1970, and the United Nations Special Fund (SF), 1960-1970, were among the important partners of UNESCO. At present the main contributors are:(1)Funds-in-Trust (FIT) (2)United Nations Development Program (3) United Nations Population Fund) (4) The World Bank and regional development banks (5) UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) (6) UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) (7) WFP (World Food Program) (8) Particular Member States, through voluntary contributions for the benefit of UNESCO programs (9) Associate experts (10) Foundations
By the end of 1984, rumors regarding UNESCO’s budget have been spread, such as it being mostly from US taxpayers, and that it is being given to Soviet Fronts, terrorist organizations, and to support the unusual tastes of the UNESCO Director General. These rumors caused the US to withdraw from UNESCO, only rejoining in September of this year (2002), proving that these were false allegations.
Special programs and funds:
The total costs of programs including common service and administrative costs are given as percentages of the regular budget for 2000-2001,Education: 30.9 % Natural, Social and Human Sciences: 24.3 % Culture: 12.1 % Communication, Information and Informatics: 9.2 % Tran disciplinary Project: Towards a Culture of Peace: 5.8 % Transverse Activities: 5.3 % Participation Program: 6.2 % Information and Dissemination Services: 6.2 %
Examples of some programs and activities carried out by UNESCO are: teachers’ day, Education for All (EFA), organizing press conferences, of which the latest was "2002 Education for All Global Monitoring Report: Is the World on track?" held in London on 25 November, 2002, and the "Culture of Peace" program, UNESCO is obviously a very significant organization in many different aspects of the word, and looks in on details on all issues concerning education, science, and/or culture.
UNESCO is an organization that promotes science, culture, and education. It does so in an organized fashion. UNESCO is also a global organization, and not restricted to just one or two nations, but to all nations that require their help. Some examples of UNESCO programs and/or activities worldwide are:
The EFA (Education for All), a program that obviously promotes education, it has been taking place since November of this year, and will be going on until the year 2015, UNESCO has set six essential, attainable, and affordable goals for all 57 participating nations, these goals are: to ensure, by 2015, that all children of primary school age would have access to and complete free schooling of acceptable quality; that gender disparities in schooling would be eliminated; levels of adult illiteracy would be halved; early childhood care and education would be expanded; learning opportunities for youth and adults would be greatly increased; and all aspects of education quality would be improved.
UNESCO is monitoring the trade of cultural goods
UNESCO has set up an office in Peru, in order to offer aid concerning Peru’s cultural and cultural heritage issues, which Peru has been having trouble with, which is one of the projects UNESCO has set up in Peru
The other project in Peru, "The Integration of Disabled Children in Regular Schools" project is very strong in its technical aspects, which has undoubtedly had a positive impact on the overall performance of the project.
UNESCO has set up a Bureau of Strategic Planning (BSP) in October of 2000, which is a central service reporting to the Director-General of UNESCO, it also takes responsibility of organizing any programs that have been performed, or that are to be performed by UNESCO. It plans the location, funding, and advertising aspects of the programs.
BSP manages and develops SISTER (System of Information on Strategies, Tasks and the Evaluation of Results), the principal and mandatory tool for results-based programming, management and monitoring (PMR) system, covering both regular and extra budgetary funds.
BSP is responsible for UNESCO's participation in and contribution to inter-agency program efforts within the United Nations system to ensure cooperation of programs and efforts, especially in the follow-up to the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
UNESCO’s goals are civilization, progress towards higher goals and greater human understanding, and tolerance.
UNESCO is also the only international organization which engages in comprehensive consultations at all levels to formulate its strategies, preliminary proposals must be handed in, followed by any amendments in later drafts of the same proposal, this enhances consultation and cooperation between communities, and it also allows countries to go over their proposals thoroughly before handing discussing them in the general conferences.
All the programs that are mentioned above are working progresses, which will hopefully be as effective as UNESCO wishes them to be. The only obstacle however, is the funding. UNESCO is not finding enough money to fulfill its wishes and goals for the programs it has set.
Summary of strengths and weaknesses:
UNESCO, with 186 member states, has virtually universal membership.
UNESCO's comparative advantage lies in functions which can only be undertaken by an organization with a global mandate: it is able to provide a forum for international debate, the establishment of global standards and indicators, sharing of ideas, analysis and experience, and assessment of results concerning certain programs, projects, and activities carried out by UNESCO.
It is not a funding agency and has limited capability for playing an effective role at the country level. Education has from the start been the major part of UNESCO's mission. However its very broadly based mandate carries with it risks of diffusion of effort and overlap with other international organizations.
UNESCO has headquarters in Paris, a network of field offices, six autonomous (self-governing) educational institutes, and an institute for statistics. It has an approved establishment of 2118 staff. Its biennial budget is $544 million of assessed contributions for 2000-01 plus an anticipated $266 million from voluntary contributions.
In the past UNESCO has had difficulty in capitalizing on the potential strengths of its international position and mission. It now has a new Director-General determined to make UNESCO a more effective and sharply focused organization, who has strengthened the top management, developed new strategies, a reform plan, and set in train a process of change.
UNESCO also suffers from budget mismanagement, spending too much money on one project, and too little on another. The BSP has been trying to tackle this problem for some time, but has reached no resolve yet.
UNESCO does not always emphasize on the importance of clarifying its goals, and what it intends to do in a certain program or event they are holding. Therefore making it unclear to the public as to whether they have actually fulfilled their goals. On the other hand, if the public knew what UNESCO’s goals were, then they would know, or have an indication as to whether UNESCO had actually fulfilled its goals or not. Another obstacle would be the budget problem, which is gravely deteriorating UNESCO’s effectiveness.
UNESCO is basically an organization that takes care of enhancing education and science, and reserving culture. UNESCO takes care of its business by having proposals discussed in their general conferences, regarding certain issues, and then debating the proposal, and accepting any extra suggestions for possible solutions to the issues discussed in the proposal. Some factors and aspects of the issue they may discuss would be things like how much money will the program require? Is it necessary, or are there other solutions that require less money? Is this the best solution?
One of UNESCO’s main weak points is that its funding is not well organized. Any program UNESCO wishes to implement will instantly receive money from the savings, without seriously considering any alternatives, or the consequences of these actions.
Another one of UNESCO’s strengths is the way it keeps up to date with every single program it ever implements. It does that by asking the people or sectors in charge of these programs to submit evaluation reports, in order to be fully aware of their current status, financially and developmentally. The reports also include what goals have been reached, and what have yet to be fulfilled.
In the field of education for all throughout life, UNESCO has received the following:
Reinforcing regional cooperation programs for basic education, estimated cost: $70,000, date of submission of the evaluation report, May, 2001. Science and technology education and related activities, estimated cost: $60,000, date of submission of evaluation report, October, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1996-2000.
In the field of sciences in the service of development, UNESCO has received the following:
The World Solar Program (1996-2005) estimated cost: $50,000, date of submission of evaluation report, October, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1996-2005. Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program, estimated cost: $60,000, date of submission of evaluation report, October, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1995-2000. Environment and development in coastal regions and small islands, estimated cost: $50,000, date of submission of evaluation report, October, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1996-2000. Hydrology and water resource development in a vulnerable environment, estimated cost: $15,000, date of submission of evaluation report, June, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1996-2000. UNESCO’s information services in social sciences, estimated cost: $35,000, date of submission of evaluation report, end of 2000, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1998-2000. Intersectoral project on cities: Management of social transformation and the environment, estimated cost, $40,000, date of submission of evaluation report, June, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1996-2000.
In the field of Cultural Development: the heritage and creativity, UNESCO has received the following:
Creativity, cultural industries, and copy right, estimated cost: $30,000, date of submission of evaluation report, spring, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1990-1998. Preservation of the cultural heritage, estimated cost, $20,000, and date of submission of evaluation report, spring, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1990-1998.
In the field of communication: Towards a communication and information society for all, UNESCO has received the following:
UNESCO’s action for the promotion of freedom of expression, freedom of the press and pluralism of the media, estimated cost: $50,000, date of submission of evaluation report, March, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1991-2000. Communication training activities in Africa, estimated cost, $20,000, date of submission of evaluation report, March, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1996-2000. Towards a culture of peace: Education and information materials, estimated cost, $25,000, date of submission of evaluation report, end of 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1996 to the present.
In the field of Thematic Evaluation, UNESCO has received the following:
UNESCO’s special projects for "priority groups", estimated cost $50,000, date of submission of evaluation report, end of 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1996 to the present. UNESCO’s world reports, estimated cost, $5,000 of the Regular Program supplemented by material support from interested Member States, date of submission of evaluation report. October, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1989-1999. UNESCO Fellowships Program, estimated cost, $22,000, date of submission of the evaluation report, March, 2001, and the period to be covered by the evaluation is 1994-1999.
Delegate: Saja Fakhral-Deen
Question: Improving UNESCO
Defining UNESCO as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, that takes care of all issues concerning the enhancement of education, science, and culture,
Deeply depressed by the fact that in 2000-2001 UNESCO’s budget was a mere $544 million, which is a small amount compared to what it can get, which can reach $850 million,
Noting with deep appreciation the support of the Fund in Trust (FIT), the United Nations development program (UNDP), the United Nations international children’s fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund, (UNFPA), the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the World Food Program (WFP), which kindly present UNESCO with donations annually,
Noting with deep concern the fact that UNESCO may be forced to close down the UNESCO Magazine, Courier, because of budgetary problems, UNESCO's Director General Koichiro Matsuura said the budget needs to increase by eight million dollars or else the magazine will be forced to close down by the end of the year,
Deeply concerned with the fact that UNESCO’s budget is critically deteriorating the effectiveness of the Education for All (EFA) program, which is one of UNESCO’s efforts to raise the standards for education in developing nations, by preventing UNESCO’s ability to send expert teachers to developing nations,
1 Resolves the formation of the UNESCOF (UNESCO Funding) that would be responsible for the following
A. Raising awareness about different events taking place sponsored by UNESCO through mass media (TV, radio, pamphlets, etc.) in an attempt to increase attendees,
B. Raising awareness about different programs carried out by UNESCO in an attempt to increase attention and donations, also through mass media,
C. Collecting fees from all UNESCO's member nations, and storing it in a bank in Paris, France,
D. Introducing the consequences for non-paying nations,
E. Putting donation boxes in every single place that will allow it in all the member nations of UNESCO,
F. Setting up a UNESCO volunteer office in all allowing member nations;
2 Further resolves that the bank in Paris, France would contain
A. A large amount of expert bankers and accountants worldwide,
B. A high-tech surveillance and security system taken charge by expert computer engineers and programmers as well as security men,
C. A large repository under ground that will be guarded by heavy surveillance and security;
3 Requests that the following procedure be introduced upon any non-paying member nations:
A The fee will be raised 25% every month after the due date
B. If the fee is still not paid after 5 months, the delegate of that country to UNESCO will have a meeting with UNESCO’s head of finance (a member of the board) in order to see the reasoning and according to the reasoning, either
I. that country will have 2 more months to pay with only 25% extra for both months, if the country does not have a valid excuse (according to the head of finance),
III. that country will be given 5 months to pay with only 25% extra for all five months, if the country does have a valid excuse, but that is controllable, and that can be handled.
C. that country will have 10 months to pay with no extra fees, and it can be in payments over the entire period;
4. Further requests that any country who goes on for a year without paying, and without a valid excuse,
A. will have their voting rights in the UNESCO general conference removed, until such time as they meet the commands and pay their fees,
B. if the country has a valid excuse, as decided by UNESCO's head of finance, then that country will be excused from any additional 25% it was asked for the previous year, or just a percentage of it depending on the validity of their excuse;
5) Urges all member nations to pay their fees on time seeing as UNESCO will reinforce 5% of the fees to any country who pays it on time, and that if they do not pay it on time with no valid excuse, then that country will have their voting rights removed.
Honorable chair, fellow delegates, and most illustrious guests. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization is proud to see all these nations present here today. Because your presence here, today, in this very room, illustrates UNESCO’s accomplishments, its achievements and capabilities to overcome the toughest situations and the hardest obstacles. UNESCO has the capacity to do anything in hope of enhancing education and science, in terms of volunteers, expertise, and the willingness to do the job. But unfortunately, other than all that, UNESCO still lacks one thing, and it is this one thing that has deteriorated UNESCO’s effectiveness, and diminished its standards.
Funding, ladies and gentlemen, it is funding. This huge obstacle has stood, and still stands in the way, blocking the road to enhancement, development, and progression. If this obstacle would be removed, then wonders could take place, the world would be a much better place to live in, with educated people, growing up in their own cultures, and keeping up with the racing science and technology. Funding is the obstacle, help us, and help the world remove this terrible and horrifying obstacle.