THE new international body which is known for convenience as UNESCO is a product of the widespread belief that only to the degree that there is a world community will world law be practicable and a world political organization be effective. It is the instrument devised to help build that community by working directly to mold men's ideas. But in addressing itself to that apparently beneficent task, it finds -- perhaps a little to its surprise -- that it is dealing with some of the most explosive political issues now confronting statesmen and people.
The first General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (to give it its full name) was held in Paris in November and December of last year and was attended by delegates of the 44 member states. It selected four major, immediate objectives: 1, rehabilitation of shattered cultural and educational centers; 2, reduction of illiteracy; 3, revision of textbooks; and 4, removal of barriers to world communications and extension of the use of the "mass media." It also adopted a budget of $6,000,000 for the first year, elected a Director-General to serve a two-year term (an English scholar, Julian Huxley), located its permanent headquarters in Paris and chose Mexico City as the site of the 1947 General Conference. By agreement with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, it is officially a specialized agency of the United Nations, under Articles 57 and 63 of the Charter. And in the United States, a National Commission to supply a propulsive force in its work in this country has been formed by act of Congress. The new agency is a going concern.
Very little of the evidence which would permit a realistic judgment of its program and possibilities is yet in, however. The Paris program is, in general, put in terms only of recommendations for study and report by the Director-General and his staff, and by various committees. But the importance of its problems and the part that will be played by public opinion
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