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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
10-11-2005 1:00 pm Claude Levi-Strauss, one of the founders of contemporary anthropology, Federico Mayor and Amadou-Mahtar M’Bow, former Director-Generals of UNESCO, several Heads of State and Government and numerous other personalities will participate in a ceremony on November 16 (9.30 – 12.30, Room I) marking the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Organization’s Constitution. The ceremony will be followed by an international symposium which will bring together some 60 historians, anthropologists and philosophers.
On November 16, 1945, representatives from 37 countries gathered in London decided to create an organization dedicated to building peace through education, science and culture. Sixty years later, the Organization is undertaking a critical review of its past directions, activities and results in order to respond to the new challenges of the 21st century.

"To review from a critical perspective the intellectual, spiritual and philosophical ideas that have shaped UNESCO is to guard against forgetfulness, to build an institutional memory and to cultivate awareness of the Organization’s rich history the better to construct the future," writes Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, in the preface of the recently published "Humanity in the making" by French philosopher Roger-Pol Droit, which is dedicated to UNESCO’s intellectual history.

The symposium, "60 years of UNESCO history" will start this process. The programme covers the major themes of UNESCO’s history, such as a culture of peace, race, reconciliation, reconstruction and dialogue, the Cold War and de-colonization, education for all, world heritage, and the social responsibility of the sciences.Organized in cooperation with the Political Science Center for Historical Research in Paris, the University Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris I), the Center for History and Economics at Cambridge University (United Kingdom) and the United Nations Intellectual History Project, City University of New York Graduate Center (USA), the symposium will also draw up the basis for research and international scientific collaboration over 2005-2010.

The symposium will launch of the UNESCO History Project, which includes initiatives such as attribution of study grants to doctoral students preparing their thesis on subjects related to the history of UNESCO; the creation of UNESCO Chairs in the history of international organizations; the publications of books on major themes of UNESCO’s history; and the development of an oral history programme.

The anniversary celebrations on the 16th will close with the concert "Mozart, but not only...," which unites traditional, classic and contemporary music (16 November, 7.30 pm, Room I). organized in collaboration with the association Melody for the dialogue betwen civilizations.

UNESCO will transmit live on the network of GLOBECAST-SERTE video footage of the Ceremony marking the 60th anniversary (9.30-12.30). The Ceremony and the concert (7.30 pm) will be broadcasted live on UNESCO’s website.

A BRoll is available upon request.
Contact : Carole Darmouni, Audiovisual Section, tel +33 (0)1 45 68 17 38, c.darmouni@unesco.org

Journalists wishing to attend the symposium must be accredited by the Press Relations Section.
Contact: tel. +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48 - i.le-fournis@unesco.org


Source Media Advisory N°2005-66


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