THE present Conference and proposals for educational, scientific and cultural co-operation have arisen, in the first instance, through the devastation of war. When countries were invaded, millions of men and women retreated before the enemy, and hundreds of thousands came to the United Kingdom. The children and the young needed succour and education, and through this, the Ministers of Education of the occupied countries met to organize assistance. From immediate help for refugees, they passed to plans for assisting the cultural life of their countries after liberation, and then to the promotion of cultural co-operation on a new world scale. There were the three stages of relief, rehabilitation, and the advancement of civilization.
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History Compass (2007)