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

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By Fernando Valderrama

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Where the name of the organization is concerned, it should be noted that the first letter of invitation from the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME) referred solely to educational issues, but the Ministers soon expanded their debates to cover cultural topics. When the United States became part of CAME, its delegation came to the meeting with a plan for the establishment of a United Nations Educational and Cultural Reconstruction Organization (UNECREC), but in January 1945 the State Department was already referring to the creation of a United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization (UNECO), and it was an agency with that provisional title that the November 1945 Conference was intended to set up.

William Fulbright, and made up of John Studebaker, Commissioner for Education, Grayson N. Kefauver, Dean of the Faculty of Education at Stanford University, Mildred Thompson, Dean of Vassar College and Archibald MacLeish, from the Library of Congress. In May 1944 the United States Government invited the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and China to consider the framework of an international security organization, and contacts were initiated at Dumbarton Oaks, close to Washington, in August.

It initiated its work on the basis of an old project drawn up by the Abbé Grégoire in 1815 for the organization of annual meetings of scholars and artists. Thereafter meetings, which the political and military situation limited to eight in number, were organized on the following topics: 1. In Frankfurt, on the topic ‘Goethe’. This meeting was held from 12 to 14 May 1932, on the occasion of the celebrations in honour of Goethe. The following are the titles of some of the papers: ‘How I see Goethe’, by Paul Valéry, ‘Goethe and the vocation of the writer’, by Thomas Mann, ‘Faust and the spiritual Europeans’, by Salvador de Madariaga, ‘Goethe and Hellenism’, by Gilbert Murray, ‘Goethe and architecture’, by Ragnar Ostberg, and ‘Goethe in Rome’, by Roberto Paribeni.

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