"WE CAN'T AFFORD TO PASS IT BY"
By A. C. F. Beales
The deepest single impression we get here this week is that everybody is thankful that UNESCO is not an integral part of the United Nations Organisation but to sonic extent an independent body which has relations with U.N.O. and which could even continue its work if U.N.O. were to break down.
Man And The Peace
This conference is much like its predecessors in outward appearance. The proceedings are carried on in English and French with swift and clear translations following each speech.
The British delegation meets in full every morning at 9.30 a.m.,
to consider and approve the group report from its various committees on education, the creative arts. the natural sciences, mass instruction. and so on. As a result the leaders of our delegation (Sir John Maud and Sir Philip Morris) have a clear view of the mind of the full delegation. At the commission meetings all the delegates concerned are present and any of us can speak.
WHAT IT AMOUNTED TO What does it all amount to? Three carefully graded categories of work: (I) Immediate and emergency tasks of international cultural rehabilitation. 'Ibis will be carried out during 1947. (2) More ambitious plans in all fields, including films, radio, libraries, museum groups, which will be referred to the various expert bodies in each country. (3) A long-term plan to he begun after the emergency tasks have got well under way. The majority of all this has been prepared by an expert secretariate and will go through.
It is easy, no doubt, to say that there is nothing new in any of this, It is easy to say that the political disagreements of the statesmen in New York can ruin the cultural agreements of the teachers and professors gathered here in Paris. It is also easy to say that UNESCO has a hard task in finding a peaceful way of ritual life for peoples so divided in religion and ideology. (The UNESCO Charter, which is a truly great document. expresses the fundamental rights of every human being, and naturally the U.S.S.R. is not here.)
COME HERE AND HELP
But none of these reflections can reduce the sense of responsibility which delegates feel. Nor does any of it entitle the critic' to pass by on the other side. It is rather for the critic himself to come here and ensure (from inside) that the debate shall be raised to the level he or she desires.
The level so far is modest. So far as it goes it is sound. As the Brazilian delegate said on Tuesday, it is for international education to preach a knowledge and service and love of man just as it is for religious education to preach a knowledge and service and love of God.