A History of UNESCO (UNESCO reference books) by Fernando Valderrama

By Fernando Valderrama

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In addition, publication of a monthly information bulletin Science Museums was initiated, and it appeared regularly until 1939. On 9 July 1937 an agreement was signed between the International Committee on Intellectual Co-operation and the International Council of Scientific Unions (formerly the International Research Council). A Committee to conduct the necessary negotiations had previously been appointed under the chairmanship of Professor Blas Cabrera. From 1937 onwards, the Institute organized nine study meetings, the subject of which was selected in each case by the Scientific Advisory Committee.

Huxley submitted a document entitled ‘UNESCO, Its Purpose and Its Philosophy’; this gave rise to some controversy, to the point where it was circulated in the Committee as a document submitted in Dr. Huxley’s personal capacity, and in no way an expression of the views of the Commission itself. Under Huxley’s leadership, the future Secretariat of UNESCO already had a staff of some 600 people working on the preparation of the programme which was to be submitted to the General Conference, along with a budget amounting to $7,500,000; some members saw this as high, and it was reduced to $6,950,000.

The basic topic was ‘Current relations between European and American cultures’, focusing on mutual relations. The meeting was not very successful, and Stefan Zweig summed it up as follows: ‘To have the full value of reality, a meeting always involves knowledge of the subject, and we must openly admit that we Europeans are the weak side here, because we do not know enough about things in Latin America’; 8. In Paris, on the topic ‘The future fate of letters’. The meeting was held from 20 to 23 July 1937 in the context of Intellectual Co-operation Month.

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