THE proposals for the new United Nations Educational and Cultural Organisation were first put forward by the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education, which has sat in London since 1941, and in some of its later work was assisted by a delegation from the United Nations. This body was originally concerned with the immediate and essentially short-term task of securing the educational and cultural reconstruction of those parts of Europe and Asia which had suffered cultural distortion or destruction at the hands of the Axis Powers; and in April 1944 it formulated proposals designed to meet these needs. At San Francisco, however, this aim was extended and generalized, and it was proposed that a permanent special agency of the United Nations, devoted to educational and cultural tasks, should be established. The present Conference is engaged on the problems of giving final form to the draft charter of the Organisation put forward by the Allied Education Ministers, and broadly outlining its main aims and functions and of delimiting its field of action; after which it will set up an interim commission to work out details and to prepare the ground for the first full Conference to be held about a year hence.
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History Compass (2007)