UNESCO: PHILOSOPHY &

FOUNDATIONS

Julian Huxley's "UNESCO: Its Purpose & Its Philosophy" 1946

"[UNESCO] cannot base itself exclusively on any special or particular philosophy or outlook, whether existentialism or elan vital, rationalism or spiritualism, an economic-determinist or a rigid cyclical theory of human history. Nor, with its stress on democracy and the principles of human dignity, equality and mutual respect, can it adopt the view that the State is a higher or more important end than the individual; or any rigid class theory of society."

A. J. Ayer's Vision for UNESCO & the World, 1946

Ayer's paper presented at the Sorbonne on October 31st, 1946:  "The question how men ought to live is one that would seem to fall within the province of moral philosophy; but it cannot be said of every moral philosopher that he makes a serious attempt to answer it.  Moreover,  those who do make a serious attempt to answer it are mostly pontiffs, who approach it wrongly.  For having decided, on metaphysical grounds, that reality is of such and such a character they try to deduce from this the superiority of a certain rule of life."

Jean Paul Sartre's Vision for UNESCO & the World, 1946

Jean Paul Sartre's paper delivered at the Sorbonne on November 1st, 1946:  "Dostoevsky has said: 'Every man is responsible towards everyone for everything.'  This statement becomes truer from day to day.  As national collectivism becomes more and more part of human collectivism, as every individual becomes more and more part of the national community, we may say that each one of us becomes more and more responsible, more and more widely responsible."

Andres Malraux's Vision for UNESCO & the World, 1946

Andre Malraux's paper delivered at the Sorbonne on the 4th November, 1946: "From the great days of Greece onwards, it has taken its stand against what men called the gods.  Not such gods as Venus or Apollo, but the true gods, the lords of destiny.  Greek tragedy misleads us; it rises like a burning shadow from the vast sandy wastes of Egypt, from man’s abasement by the gods of Babylon.  It is a challenge to man’s destiny; and before that challenge destiny retreats and man comes into his own."

Stephen Spender's foreward to "Refelctions on Our Age" 1946

"Nor is it in any way regrettable that there are disagreements. One lecturer, Aragon, attacks another, André Malraux. There are passages of passion, of violence even, which at first glance seem hardly suitable to the detachment of the aims of UNESCO. Yet an international organisation can, if it is to be strong and real, only be born within the turbulence and controversy of each nation. Otherwise it will tend to become an international academy or bureaucracy."

First General Conference of UNESCO, Paris 1946

"(M. Léon Blum, President): I should like in the first place as a member of the French delegation to thank you for the honour you have done to that delegation in electing me your President. I am very appreciative of that honour and grateful for it. I should like to express to my predecessor in this Chair my thanks for the very cordial welcome that I have received from the Head of the United Kingdom delegation."

"Vision for UNESCO in its Early Years" 1946

A collection of papers by Alfred Jules Ayer, Jean-Paul Sartre, Andre Malraux, Louis Aragon, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, and Julian Huxley, delivered between November and December 1946 during the First General Session of UNESCO at the Sorbonne, Paris.  The papers were originally presented in French (Horizons Philosophiques A L'Origine D'Unesco); the English editions/translations can be found at the end of the document.

Philosophical Questions to Delegates & Scholars, Paris 1947

Appendix 1, Paris 1947: commentary and questions sent to delgates in advance of the draft of the UN Declaration of Human Rights: "What are the relations between the political, the social and the economic rights of individuals (of different sexes and ages) and of groups, in societies of different types and in different historical circumstances?  How far are the differences between the divergent formulations of ideal human rights and freedoms in different societies accurate indications of the material differences in economic and social conditions in the regions concerned?"

Jan Opočenský: The Beginning of UNESCO: 1942 - 1948

"But every germination has to first find conditions for its growth. Mankind had to go first from the dissolution of the homogenous medieval religious culture, which began to disintegrate during the Renaissance to the formation of national state individualities, to their influencing of education of their subjects to the developing of a definite policy in educational and cultural matters, and as a result of all this, to a formation of an educational and cultural administration."

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