Volume #15 - 248.|
CONSEIL ÉCONOMIQUE ET SOCIAL ET AGENCES SPÉCIALISÉES
ORGANISATION DES NATIONS UNIES POUR L'ÉDUCATION, LA SCIENCE ET LA CULTURE
Note du sous-secrétaire d'États aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
le 27 juillet 1949|
FOURTH SESSION OF THE UNESCO GENERAL CONFERENCE SEPTEMBER 19-OCTOBER 5, 1949|
As a result of the decision of the General Conference that from 1950 onwards its ordinary sessions should be held in the spring, the next two sessions will be held within seven months of each other. The Fourth Session of the General Conference of UNESCO, to he held at UNESCO House in Paris from September 19 to October 5, 1949, is accordingly to be a "short business session" only. Its agenda is limited to
(a) questions which, under the Constitution of UNESCO and the regulations in force (Rules of Procedure of the General Conference, Financial Regulations, Staff Rules), must necessarily be included in the agenda of all ordinary sessions of the General Conference;
(b) questions whose inclusion in the Agenda of the Fourth Session has been requested by the General Conference in resolutions adopted at a previous session.
Other questions will be deferred to the next full-scale Session in May 1950.
2. The six main divisions of the agenda, a copy of which is attached,t are as follows:
(a) Programme and Budget. Discussion on the programme will be confined to the consideration of changes in programme emphasis or orientation which involve important budgetary implications. Projects that are entirely new will be discussed at the Fifth Session.
(b) Administration and Finance
(c) Official and External Relations. There are a number of subjects arising from resolutions previously passed by the General Conference, such as liaison with Member States and National Commissions, consideration of the Agreement between United Nations and UNESCO.
(d) Discussion of General Topic:
"What are the duties of the State in regard to education, science and culture for the purpose of ensuring a better understanding between peoples and what practical steps should it take in order to discharge these duties-" Three plenary meetings have been set aside for this general discussion. The Director-General requests that the subject for discussion be studied by some leading public figure who would be a member of our delegation and would act as its mouthpiece in these discussions.
(e) Executive Board. The question of the term of office of members of the Executive Board has to be decided, and six new members are to be elected.
(f) UNESCO and the Fourth Point Programme. The original timetable has been extended by three days to permit the examination of UNESCO's contribution to a co-ordinated plan of United Nations and specialized agencies for technical assistance to under-developed countries.
3. Our primary interest at this Conference is to submit the UNESCO programme and budget to critical scrutiny, and this interest can best be served by a small delegation composed of official government representatives. There may be some dissatisfaction on the part of governmental agencies which are not represented (e.g. Film Board, C.B.C.) and non-governmental organizations, but their interest might be diverted to the session which is to take place next spring in Florence. The present session can be considered an interim one to dispose of urgent business, and we can begin to prepare very soon, in liaison with all the interested national organizations, for representation at the full-scale session next May.
4. It is desirable that we should be represented by a delegation which can be relied upon to present the views of the Canadian Government, and to direct the attention of the Conference to some of the more practical considerations which its long-sighted trail blazers have overlooked. I would therefore suggest the composition of the delegation be as follows:
Mr. John B.C. Watkins Mr. F, Charpentier A member of the Royal Commission on the Arts, Letters and Sciences A Secretary from the Department of External Affairs.
5. Dr. DorB, who headed the delegations in Paris in 1946 and 1948, is in his private capacity still a member of the Executive Board. It would be desirable, I believe, to leave him free to devote himself to this work, rather than to place him again in the invidious position of trying to reconcile it with his responsibilities as head of the Canadian Delegation. The work of the Executive Board may, as usual, be very exacting during the conung session. Dr. Dore, has furthermore, consistently taken the position that he acts on the Executive Board as a servant of UNESCO and not as a representative of Canada. This may be a logical position, but we cannot admit that the Canadian Delegation should be bound to agree to whatever Dr. Dons has accepted in the Board. We do not want, for example, a repetition of the situation last year when the Canadian Delegation did not carry out its instructions to criticize the budget presented by the Executive Board. In an attached letter† Mr. Bryce has expressed his concern over this possibility.
6. Mr. Watkins has not had experience of UNESCO, but he would combine a genuine interest in cultural activities with the appropriate scepticism. He will have had a year in Moscow and will be due for a break in his tour of duty there. Mr. Charpentier is well versed in the affairs of UNESCO, having acted for the past year as our direct contact with the Secretariat in Paris and, on occasion, as a substitute for Dr. Dord on the Executive Board. The secretarial work should be undertaken by someone from the Department familiar with the details of UNESCO, our attitude, and the budget. If appropriate arrangements can be made, this will be the officer who is shortly taking over UNESCO work when it is transferred from the U.N. Division to the Information Division.
7. With public attention focussed on the terms of reference of the Royal Commission relative to the establishing of a National Commission for UNESCO, the inclusion of one of the Commissioners would be timely. This first-hand experience of the machinery of UNESCO and of National Commissions already established abroad would be a valuable asset in considering Canada's relationship with UNESCO; the Royal Commission's representative would moreover bring to the Conference an expert knowledge of the functions and problems of our national organizations, and would be well qualified to evaluate the practicability of implementing UNESCO's programmes in Canada. His inclusion in the official delegation would also mean that Canadian educational, scientific and cultural life would be represented, and would obviate any criticism on this point. The Royal Commission's representative could be the spokesman in the discussions of the "general topic" set forth in paragraph 2(d) above.
8. I attach lists of previous delegations and of members of the Executive Board.†
9. If you approve, I shall prepare a submission to Cabinet.94
94 Le Cabinet approuva une note à ce sujet, le 24 aout 1949.