The 19th general conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation -- UNESCO - ended in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday (30 November).
The 19th general conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation -- UNESCO - ended in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday (30 November). Although potentially a source of bitter East-West confrontation, the meeting ended on a conciliatory note, attributed largely to the moderating influence of African states.
SYNOPSIS: Two Soviet-inspired moves -- a draft declaration on control of the mass media and an attempt to keep Israel out of UNESCO's European group -- were both shelved when the Communist bloc was told that it would not be supported by the Africans, who form the largest regional group.
In his closing address UNESCO Director General Monsieur Amadou - Mahtar M'Bow from Senegal, contrasted this year's conference with the preceding one in Paris two years ago. Monsieur M'Bow said that then there were passionate, sometimes violent statements, endless roll-call votes whose outcome were awaited like that of a battle and explanations which were bitter and sometimes contained barely-veiled threats. He said that this year the atmosphere never become tense and differences never reached the stage of confrontation or conflict.
Conference President Mr. Taaita of Kenya rounded off the proceedings with a stylish personal touch.