At its 11th session, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted on 14 December 1960 a Convention against Discrimination in Education which Article 8 states that “Any dispute which may arise between any two or more States Parties to this Convention concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention, which is not settled by negotiation shall at the request of the parties to the dispute be referred, failing other means of settling the dispute, to the International Court of Justice for decision”.
Wishing to facilitate the implementation of the Convention, the General Conference, at its 12th session, adopted on 10 December 1962 a Protocol instituting a Conciliation and Good Offices Commission to be responsible for seeking the settlement of any dispute which might arise between States Parties to the Convention.
The Commission consists of 11 members elected by the General Conference from a list of persons nominated by the States Parties to the Protocol. The mandate of the Commission consists, essentially, in ascertaining the facts and making available its good offices and conciliating functions, including possible recommendations, to the States concerned with a view to an amicable solution of the matter on the basis of respect for the Convention.
Until today, the Commission has never been called upon to use its good offices or exercise its conciliatory functions.
However, in order in order to revitalize and develop the procedure instituted by the Protocol, the General Conference, at its 31st session, decided to convene the States Parties to the Protocol during the 32nd session of the General Conference to review the Commission’s procedures with the aim of making them effective.
During this meeting at UNESCO’s Headquarters on 7 and 8 October 2003, the representatives of the States Parties to the Protocol recalled the need to maintain the existence of the Conciliation and Good Offices Commission and decided to interpret specific articles of the Protocol to enable the Commission to fulfill its functions (see Record of the Meeting of States Parties to the 1962 Meeting of the States Parties to the Protocol, Paris 7 and 8 October 2003.
At the request of its Chairperson, Mr Francesco Margiotta-Broglio, the Commission met on 13 and 14 October 2005 in parallel with the 33rd session of the General Conference, so as to examine and adopt proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Commission that may help revitalize this procedure (Report of the Meeting of the Commission, Paris 13 and 14 october 2005).
Following the elections of the 38th session of the General Conference, are currently Members of the Commission :