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Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO

Ministry of Education
Table of Contents

Preamble of the Constitution of the UNESCO

I. A brief History of UNESCO 1

II. Historical Background of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations 2

III. Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO 3

IV. Organiszational Chart of Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO 4

V. Purposes of UNESCO Clubs 5

VI. Relations between the Clubs and UNESCO 7

VII. How to Start a UNESCO Club 7

VIII. Some of the suggested activities for Club 8

IX. Some Tips for smooth functioning of the club 15

X. Roles and responsibilities of the coordinator 16

XI. International UN Holidays 17-19

In Japan humiliated by defeat ANNEXURE I

World Heritage Today and Tomorrow with young people

Frequently asked Questions about UNESCO Clubs, Centres

and Associations
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,
is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations. It currently comprises 193 Member
States and six associate Members.

Formed to keep a watchful eye on developments in the world and help Member
States and associate Members find answers to the key problems that beset our
societies in the areas within its competence. UNESCO is involved in a broad
range of activities, Building the defenses of peace through international
intellectual cooperation remains UNESCO’s prime objective.

To achieve its objectives, UNESCO needs the help of people throughout the
world. This support may include: promoting the UNESCO Clubs movement
whose aim is to create more public support for and interest in the activities of the
organization, taking the initiative in celebrating the official International Days
proclaimed by the United Nations.

In order to widen the vision of UNESCO Club Members and to enable them to
organize and commit themselves to the building up of defenses of peace, in a
small way, locally with small efforts, we have in the following pages attempted to
provide answers to questions like: what the UNESCO Clubs are for, what is their
relationship with UNESCO, what are their activities, how to run the Club
activities, what qualities a Club leader should develop etc.

We hope that this manual will help your school in developing the UNESCO Club
Movement and guiding its Coordinators to effectively play their roles.

Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO


That since wars

begin in the minds of men, it is
in the minds of men that the defenses of
Peace must be constructed.
That ignorance of each other’s ways and lives has been a
common cause, throughout the history of mankind, of that suspicion
and mistrust between the peoples of the world through which
their differences have all too often broken into war;
That the great and terrible war which has now ended was a war made
possible by the denial of the democratic principles of the dignity, equality
and mutual respect of men, and by the propagation, in their place, through
ignorance and prejudice, of the doctrine of the inequality of men and races:
That the wide diffusion of culture, and the education of humanity for
justice and liberty and peace are indispensable to the dignity of man and
constitute a sacred duty which all the nations must fulfill in a spirit of
mutual assistance and concern;
That a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic
arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could
secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the
peoples of the world, and that peace must therefore
be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual
and moral solidarity of mankind.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

A brief History of UNESCO

As early as 1942, in wartime, the governments of the European countries, which were
confronting Nazi Germany and its allies, met in the United Kingdom for the Conference of
Allied Ministers of Education (CAME). The Second World War was far from over, yet those
countries were looking for ways and means to reconstruct their systems of education once
peace was restored. Very quickly, the project gained momentum and soon took on a universal
note. New governments, including that of the United States, decided to join in.

Upon the proposal of CAME, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an
educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF) was convened in London from 1 to 16
November 1945. Scarcely had the war ended when the conference opened. It gathered together
the representatives of forty-four countries. Spurred on by France and the United Kingdom, two
countries that had known great hardship during the conflict, the delegates decided to create an
organization that would embody a genuine culture of peace. In their eyes, the new organization
must establish the “intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind” and, in so doing, prevent the
outbreak of another world war.

At the end of the conference, thirty-seven countries founded the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization. The Constitution of UNESCO, signed on 16 November
1945, came into force on 4 November 1946 after ratification by twenty countries: Australia,
Brazil, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Greece,
India, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United
Kingdom and United States. The first session of the General Conference of UNESCO was held
in Paris from 19 November to 10 December 1946 with the participation of representatives from
30 governments entitled to vote.

The ashes of the Second World War are reflected in the composition of the founding Member
States of UNESCO. Japan and the Federal Republic of Germany became members in 1951,
Spain in 1953. Other major historical factors, as the Cold War, the decolonization process and
the dissolution of the USSR, also left their trace on UNESCO. The USSR joined UNESCO in
1954 and was replaced by the Russian Federation in 1992. Nineteen African States became
Members in 1960. Twelve Republics from the former Soviet Union joined UNESCO in the
period 1991 to 1993.

As a consequence of its entry into the United Nations, the People's Republic of China has been
the only legitimate representative of China at UNESCO since 1971. The German Democratic
Republic was a Member from 1972 to 1990, when it joined the Federal Republic of Germany.

Today, UNESCO is working to create the conditions for genuine dialogue based upon respect
for shared values and the dignity of each civilization and culture.
This role is critical, particularly in the face of terrorism, which constitutes an attack against
humanity. The world urgently requires global visions of sustainable development based upon
observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which lie at
the heart of UNESCO’s mission and activities.

Through its strategies and activities, UNESCO is actively contributing to the achievement of
the Development Goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration by 2015, especially
those aiming to:

• halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty

• achieve universal primary education

• eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education

• combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

• ensure environmental sustainability

Today, UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal

agreements on emerging ethical issues. The Organization also serves as a clearinghouse – for
the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge – while helping Member States to
build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields. In short, UNESCO promotes
international co-operation among its 193* Member States and six Associate Members in the
fields of Education, Science, Culture and Communication.

UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations

Since the first UNESCO Club was founded in Japan, in 1947, UNESCO Clubs, Centres and
Associations have been very valuable partners for the Organization. (story of Japan -
Club movement members, who are all volunteers, include people of all ages and nationalities
from every walk of life; they share a commitment to UNESCO’s ideals and work to translate
them into reality on the ground. Members are therefore well placed to present the views of
civil society to decision-makers.
In the half-century the UNESCO Clubs movement has been in existence, the world has
witnessed a vast range of events concerning every one of UNESCO’s fields of competence.

In 2006, the movement includes some 3,700 associations, Centres and UNESCO Clubs in
more than 100 countries throughout the world.
At the international level, the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations
(WFUCA) is responsible for informing, coordinating and mobilizing its members, with
UNESCO's support and cooperation.
In the light of civil society's growing role in public policy-making, the Club movement can
play a key part in educating citizens, and can contribute to dialogue between cultures and
generations for sustainable development.

Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO

Bhutan became a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisations (UNESCO) on 13th April 1982. However, until 1 October 1986, Bhutan
remained without a National Commission Secretariat. Sensing the need to establish a
Secretariat as envisaged in the Charter, Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO (BNCU)
was formed on 1st October 1986 under the command of His Majesty the King Jigme Singye
With the permanent Secretariat the Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO is attached to
the Ministry of Education. An Executive Committee was formed under the Chairman of
Minister, Ministry of Education.

Consequent upon its establishment Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO was entrusted
with the following functions.

- to serve as a focal point and coordinating agency for UNESCO activities;

- to coordinate all UNESCO assisted projects in Bhutan;

- to co-ordinate any forth coming activities of UNESCO;

- to prepare relevant proposals and assist delegates for UNESCO General Conference and

- to represent and participate as member in some of the UNESCO Committees;

- to further establish our country’s image and co-operation with other National
Commissions by way of participations in International Commission activities.


Secretary General Executive



Education Culture Information, Library and

Communication and Documentation
Sciences s
UNESCO is the UN’s agency which encourages world wide cooperation in education, science,
culture and communication. The UNESCO Clubs are mainly educational in character,
providing opportunities for people to prepare themselves to take part in the benefits of culture
and science. It is a centre for life long education. It aims to get its members to think and to
work with open-mindedness and an understanding of other people. The activities of UNESCO
are truly represented by UNESCO Clubs.

One of the main purposes of UNESCO Clubs is to develop understanding and support of
UNESCO’s programmes and activities among their own members and among the public at
large; they are by no means limited in scope. Their interest extends to the entire family of
United Nations agencies and bodies and beyond that to international relations and international
cooperation as a whole. By bringing together people who are already interested in world
problems and their solutions, the UNESCO Clubs provide invaluable assistance to UNESCO
and the National Commissions in public information activities.

Aims and Objectives

The Clubs have a commitment to civic awareness at both the national and the international
levels. They are optimists, determined to create a better world for themselves and for everyone.

UNESCO Clubs are groups of people of all ages, from every walk of life and social and
professional backgrounds who share UNESCO ideals and make it more widely known.
Although the Clubs may differ in form, they all have something in common, i.e. a firm belief in
UNESCO’s ideals as set forth in its Constitution and a commitment to the principles of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The aims of UNESCO Clubs may be summarized as follows:

- To promote understanding of the aims and ideals of UNESCO and to work for the
success of its programmes;

- To promote international understanding, cooperation and world peace through a better

knowledge of different national cultures and awareness of what constitutes the cultural
heritage of mankind;
- To contribute to the training in democracy of their members and particularly of young
people, through practical studies dealing with questions posed by the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights;

- To inculcate tolerance in its members and to adopt an objective approaches in the search
for truth trough the study of major world problems;
- To participate in economic or social development. This is to be conceived as the
attainment of the conditions most conducive to the full development of the human

- To take steps to help developing countries particularly by doing everything possible to

convince public opinion and governments in technologically advanced countries of the
need to intensify such aid.

- Each Club is free, of course, to decide which of these aims should be given priority.
Besides Clubs can formulate their own aims differently or can add other aims, of a
different nature or simply less general in scope.


The function of the Clubs may be summed up in three words: training, information, action. In
essence they mean training of the members; information both for members and for the general
public, by obtaining and disseminating factual data about national and world problems, the
activities of international organizations, the activities of the Club itself…lastly, the action
which is the essential condition for the existence of a club.

Lectures and discussions on general local problems, study groups on topics of current interest,
exhibitions and film shows and the circulation of documentation of the work of the United
Nations and its agencies – these and other activities designed to promote the aims of UNESCO,
help to form enlightened citizens.

Financial Assistance

UNESCO Clubs may be hampered in their activities by lack of financial resources. UNESCO
does not subsidize the Clubs and with rare exceptions does not provide them with direct
financial support. Clubs must direct their requests through the country’s National Commission

UNESCO may provide financial assistance for the organization of national meetings for
establishing a federation; organization of UNESCO weeks, or any other activities to make
UNESCO and its work known and activities promoting cooperation between Clubs of different
countries and regions.

UNESCO makes available to all Clubs, free of charge, publications of general interest about the
Relations between the Clubs and UNESCO

The Clubs were born of individual initiative. From the beginning to the present day, they have
been set up in an answer to a widespread feeling among their members, of the need to
participate more actively in international life, in harmony with UNESCO’s approach and within
its fields of competence. Their activities are directed towards the ideal set forth in the Preamble
to the UNESCO Constitution. “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of
men that the defenses of peace must be constructed”.

Although UNESCO allows its name to be used by the clubs, this title implies no official link
between UNESCO and these associations (Clubs), which are the responsibility of the National
Commission for UNESCO. UNESCO Clubs are strictly prohibited to use the official logo of
UNESCO. The UNESCO Clubs may use the logo, designed and approved by World Federation
of UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations (WFUCA).

No Commercial activity, of any kind can be undertaken by UNESCO Clubs. They are
purely, voluntary, non-government, non-profit making, and social organizations.

How to start a UNESCO Club

There are no technicalities involved in opening a UNESCO Club or Association.

ƒ Assemble a group of like minded students desirous to promote international

understanding and to involve themselves in the program and activities of UNESCO.
ƒ Chalk out aims and objectivities, adopt a constitution, and elect office bearers.
ƒ Topics of discussion/meetings, membership fees and other administrative matters
can be decided with mutual consent of members in a democratic manner.
ƒ Hold periodical meeting of members to discuss strategies for implementing those
programmes and activities.(Club Time)

School UNESCO Club

School UNESCO Club: Under the Chairmanship of the school Principal, nominate a teacher as
the In charge/Coordinator of UNESCO Club,

ƒ Inform the students about the purpose of a UNESCO Club and enroll the interested
students as members. Appoint office bearers and executive committee members
amongst the students.

ƒ Select activities (like observation of International days, Year of Decades etc.)

[These are only the broad guidelines. Interested people/ schools are free to adopt any method/
procedure to form a group/association of interested people, teachers and students].


Today 771million of the world’s citizens are illiterate, according the UNESCO Institute for
Statistics. Moreover, out of every 5 persons age children in developing countries is not in
school, totaling over 100 million globally, 53% of them girls. To promote literacy visit the
nearby villages, community, labor camps and find out how many children/persons are not
attending the school/left their schools due to various reasons. Discuss with your teacher(s) and
friends and look out ways to promote literacy among these disadvantage groups. (Report your
success to our office. We shall explore possibilities of printing out your reports)

Adult Education

Similarly you may also visit nearby villages and see if there is Non-Formal Centers. If Non-
Formal Center already exits, activate it. Render your free service by volunteering to teach/help
at the Center. In absence of such a Center, please discuss with your teacher(s) and start a centre
to offer Non-Formal Education on voluntary basis as and when it is convenient to the learners.
You can also teach something useful and practical in daily life, particularly on health,
sanitation, hygiene, HIV/AIDS, TB etc.

Seminars and Discussions

Organize a seminar on better understanding of the problems of illiteracy for illiterate people in
your locality. Invite the Principal of a school/College/Institute, Official of the Dzongkhag
Administration, DMO, Lam Nyeten etc. Few debatable suggested topics are given below:

a) How does literacy contribute towards greater national cohesion and international
b) Educate a boy and it benefits one individual: educate a girl and it benefits a family.

Debates, Film shows

You can also organize debates on democracy, quality of education, diversification of post-
secondary education in relation to employment opportunities: What in your opinion, should
these programmes consist of? How can education prepare youth for the challenges of the 21st

Sometimes arrange educational film shows on various topics for small groups and discuss
about the film:

The UNESCO programme is aimed at reducing the communication gap, existing disparities and
imbalances in society.

Collect news from TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines, and discuss their relevance to peace.
Write short articles about them.

UNESCO Club news agency

Start a UNESCO Club news agency in your school. Collect news on UN, National and
International news for two or three days. Organize a news reading session once a week in the
morning assembly and read it just as on radio/TV. (Bajothang HSS has introduced)


a. Discuss the social-cultural impact of new communication technologies. What are

the latest developments in communication technology and how much of it has been
adopted by our government? How successful are they? Have you lately observed
any of them in operation? Give details.
b. What other means would you suggest to reduce the communication gap?
c. How does media help stimulate public awareness on the following issues?
Democracy, peace and security; economic and social development; protection of
environment; health; HIV/AIDS; combating epidemics; drugs abuse, youth
problems; cultural diversity of the world.

Exchange Programme

You could extend invitation to your neighboring school(s) having UNESCO Clubs to visit
your school as and when you have debates, science exhibition, cultural programme etc. Such
exchange programme will provide scope for sharing of ideas, experiences, develop
friendship and better understanding thereby reducing communication gap. Similarly your
school could also visit them and organize joint meeting as to how some important events
could be organized jointly. You could also plan a joint campaign on HIV/AIDS and field trip
to historical sites.


“Science and advanced technology for the betterment of men”.

Decorate your school bulletin board with the above slogan with pictures and photographs of
Scientists who helped in the following fields:
Reducing communication gap;
Social comfort;
Preventive medicine;
Discovery of radium etc.

Science exhibition

Arrange a science exhibition in your school. You could invite some of the neighborhood
schools to participate in it, and see the exhibition. Display models, charts, experiments, etc.

Science exchange programme

Visit other schools for exchange of scientific programmes. Arrange inter-school debates, essay
or paper-reading sessions, or demonstration through models.

Invite science teachers from other schools to lecture or chair a debating session.


a. How can science and technology help improve living standards?

b. Are innovations in science and technology blessings or curses? What dangers do you
foresee in technological application of scientific inventions, when not put to beneficial
use of humankind? Can you write about a few such application and their consequences?

Information Centre

Set up a science information centre in your school. Collect cuttings from Newspapers,
Periodicals and pictures on the latest scientific developments.

Quiz programme

Organize science quiz competition to stir scientific curiosity and develop scientific tempers
among students.


Visit a science lab. Study the various exhibits there.

Science meeting

Arrange science meetings and discuss how science and engineering can promote greater well-
being and peace.

Promotion of Sports Activities

Sports help develop the human physique. Sports also help promote international understanding
and bring people together.

The following are a few of the activities which could be organized:

a. Organise inter-school sports meet.

b. Celebrate sports week in School.
c. Arrange inter-school sports festival.

If possible, contact an outstanding sportsperson of your city and discuss how sports activities
could be promoted.

Opportunities to Others

Open a sports centre in the neighborhood and arrange fixed hours for various groups to practice
and participate, in both indoor and outdoor games.


Healthy environment promotes peace of mind, health, equality; and unhealthy environment is
the breeding ground for ill-health, squalor, disaffection, loss of mental balance.

What are natural hazards? Is there any way to predict and prevent them? Can you suggest ways
of coping with each of the natural disasters listed below?

How do the following affect man: earthquakes; droughts; cyclones; landslide; famines; floods;

How do the above affect international understanding and security?

Research work

Why do natural disasters occur? Which are the countries you find most prone to them? What
rehabilitation efforts are made in these countries? Which international agencies extend aid as

Man Made Pollution

How does man pollute his environment? What preventive measures would you suggest?

Has technology added pollutants to the environment?

Is there any relation between heavy vehicular traffic and pollution? Is the countryside,
therefore, better?
Charts and Graphs

Prepare charts and graphs to show relativity of pollution in villages, small towns, and
metropolitan cities.

Organize a photo feature exhibition of natural disasters and man-made pollution

Do trees help fight pollution?

Water Resources

How is man influenced by the hydrological cycle?

How is water polluted? How does water pollution affect man’s health? What should be done to
reduce water; pollution?

What are water resources?

What measures should be adopted to ensure clean drinking water?
Charts can be prepared to show how water is polluted and the evil effects of such pollution


Is there any water-related project in your area? Find out details. Visit a village and observe the
water facilities there for the farmers’ cultivation and for domestic use.

If there is no safe drinking water in the village/school, how will you go about in solving this
problem? prepare a project report on your efforts to provide safe drinking water.


Visit a nearby water tank and see how the water supplied in the locality is disinfected.


Creating an ambience of peace and understanding is essential for the human race to flourish.
What role can school children play in promoting peace and prosperity?

Peace March

Arrange peace marches and invite political leaders to flag them off. Look for sponsors. Collect
funds. Utilize the collection to promote peace education and offer prayers.

Workshop in School

Organize a workshop on promotion of peace and international understanding.

Respect for Human Rights

Learn the fundamental rights listed in the UNESCO Charter. Three articles from the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights have inspired all the work of UNESCO: the right to education,
the right to share in cultural life and in the benefits of scientific progress, and the right to
freedom of speech and access to information.

Also make it a point to know the fundamental rights guaranteed to Bhutanese citizens by the
Druki Tsathrim Chenmo. Observe the prevalence of such rights in your neighborhood. Visit a
village and see the social structure of rights and duties. If you observe any violation of rights,
probe further.


Bhutan has ratified The UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the
Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of ownership of Cultural Property and also Convention for
the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Intangible Heritage
Cultural heritage is not limited to material manifestations, such as monuments and objects that
have been preserved over time. This notion also encompasses living expressions and the
traditions that countless groups and communities worldwide have inherited from their
ancestors and transmit to their descendants, in most cases orally.
Drametisi Nga Chham has been proclaimed as a masterpiece under the Oral and Intangible
Heritage in Humanity by UNESCO in November 2005.
Culture is the basis of both social continuity and social progress. It is our responsibility to
preserve and promote our rich Tangible/Intangible cultural heritage. You may organize the
following few suggested activities:

i. Photo display of various Chhams and its significance

ii. Collect information about local festivals and its significance
iii. Information on local traditional lore, customs and historical tales
iv. Information on traditional music, folklore, oral traditions and beliefs
v. Visit cultural sites (temples, Nyas etc.) and interview people who can share information
such as when built, who built, its purpose and significance of Nyas.
vi. Record the local culture, which might be extinct after some years.

Finally write articles on above in your school magazine or the newspaper


a. What are the dangers threatening our cultural heritage?

b. What steps should we take to preserve our cultural wealth?
c. Is cross-cultural interaction health?

Listed below, as a guide, are some of the activities which have been successfully undertaken by
UNESCO Clubs representing an extremely wide variety of members, age-groups and
geographical locations.

ƒ Providing information on the United Nations system, and especially on UNESCO.

ƒ Participating in the International Years proclaimed by the United Nations or UNESCO.

ƒ Action in favour of respect for human rights and the rights of children; and education
for peace, human rights and democracy.

ƒ Combating all forms of discrimination and stereotyping and promoting the status of

ƒ Participating in campaigns for literacy, environmental protection, and preservation of

the cultural heritage.

ƒ Participating in international solidarity campaigns, in particular under the UNESCO Co-

Action Programme, and setting up projects under the same Programme.

ƒ Collecting and preserving traditional cultures, including oral traditions.

ƒ Rural advancement, involving education for health and hygiene and proper dietary

ƒ Helping children from disadvantaged educational backgrounds with their school work.

ƒ Promoting exchanges between young people.

ƒ Sport, carried on in a spirit of "fair play".

ƒ Organizing artistic troupes, dramatic groups and orchestras.

ƒ Organizing a wide variety of competitions for essay-writing, poetry, photography,

drawing, and other similar activities.

The following guidelines may facilitate the smooth running of a UNESCO Club.

An inactive Club could look up to an active Club for guidance. The Clubs should remain in
touch with one another and work in close cooperation.

1) The Principal/Coordinator (s) of the Club should see to it that material on UN is

available to the members of the Club.

2) The problem of management/finance could be tackled by the resourcefulness of the

Principal/Coordinator(s) of the UNESCO Club. Some coordinators(s) are resourceful
and manage recourse easily.

3) The success of a Club depends, to a large extent, on the initiative and sincerity of its

4) Opinions of a visitor about the Club may be maintained. Healthy criticism is helpful for
further improvement.

5) Very often the school is over burdened with other school activities and the Club
activities may not get enough time. In such a situation, the coordinator(s) must make
full use of the time allotted by the school to organize the club activities.

6) The duties of the Club coordinator(s) are to suggest courses of action, to co-ordinate
and stimulate activities and to ensure that each member plays an active role in the work
of the Club accordingly to his/her taste and ability.


The success of the UNESCO Club depends upon the Coordinator/leader(s), because he/she
has the major responsibility of running the Club in a proper direction and keeping it active.
So the leader should be a dynamic person. He should not be unduly conscious of his
position nor should he/she indulge in any favoritism. He/she should have cordial relations
with his/her colleagues who are his followers. The role and responsibilities of the leader can
be broadly divided into four categories:

a. Organizing the Club - It is the responsibility of the leader to keep he/she acquainted
with the interests of the members of the Club. He/she should see that the maximum
numbers of students are motivated to become members. The leader should ensure that
his/her Club is established, in the sense that lectures and discussions on UNESCO
continue to take place from time to time so that the students will feel that the Club is
existing and is not dead. Besides, it is the responsibility of the leader to give to the Club,
in cooperation with the members its Constitution, and maintain the dignity and sanctity
of the Constitution.
b. Preparing the Programme of Activities and Implementing the same- The leader should
be able to create such an informal atmosphere in the Club that the interest of all the
members in the activities of the Club is sustained. To keep the Club alive the leader
should see that the participation is wide and that the senior members encourage the
junior students to follow up and keep up the activities. He/she should also keep
himself/herself informed about the various sub-groups and their activities. In framing a
Programme, care has to be taken to provide opportunities for all types of talents to be
represented in the Club, so that all the members get a feeling of involvement in the
running of the Club.

c. Providing Academic Leadership-The leader for his/her success, has to be a fountain of

knowledge about all aspects of the UN, UNESCO international agencies etc. To be so,
he/she has to continue self development, as the members of the Club will be all times
looking to him/her for academic leadership.

d. To function as Guide, Friend and Philosopher for the Club as a whole and individually
for the Members of the Club- the Clubs, involving the participation of school children,
might find it difficult to channelise the emotions and enthusiasm of its youthful
members in the right direction. The leader must give due weighting to group dynamics
and do all that is possible to maintain group cohesion, so that their energy is not

e. Apart from the above duties and responsibilities the leaders of the UNESCO Club
should be able to maintain good interaction with the Principal, National Commission, so
that the activities of the Clubs may receive further encouragement.

International UN Holidays

27 January 2008 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the

Holocaust (UN)

21 February 2008 International Mother Language Day (UNESCO)

8 March 2008 International Women’s Day

21 March 2008 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, World
Poverty Day (UNESCO)

22 March 2008 World Day for water

23 March 2008 World Meteorological Day (WMO)

24 March 2008 World Tuberculosis Day (WHO)

7 April 2008 World Health Day (WHO)

23 April 2008 World Book and Copyright Day (UNESCO)

3 May 2008 World Press Freedom Day (UNESCO)

15 May 2008 International Day of Families

17 May 2008 World Telecommunication Day (IUT)

21 May 2008 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

22 May 2008 International Day for Biological Diversity

31 May 2008 World No-Tobacco Day (WHO)

4 June 2008 International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression

5 June 2008 World Environment Day (UNEP)

17 June 2008 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

20 June 2008 World Refugee Day

23 June 2008 United Nations Public Service Day

26 June 2008 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, United
Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

5 July 2008 International Day of Cooperation

11 July 2008 World Population Day (UNFPA)

9 August 2008 International Day of Indigenous People

12 August 2008 International Youth Day

23 August 2008 International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its
Abolition (UNESCO)

8 September 2008 International Literacy Day (UNESCO)

16 September 2008 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

21 September 2008 International Day of Peace

27 September 2008 World Maritime Day (IMO)

1 October 2008 International Day of Older Persons

4-10 October 2008 World Space Week

5 October 2008 World Teachers’ Day (UNESCO)

6 October 2008 World Habitat Day

8 October 2008 International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction

9 October 2008 World Post Day (UPU)

10 October 2008 World Mental Health Day

16 October 2008 World Food Day (FAO)

17 October 2008 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

24 October 2008 United Nations Day, World Development Information Day

24- 30 October 2008 Disarmament Week

6 November 200 International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in
war and armed Conflict

10 November 2008 World Science Day for Peace and Development (UNESCO)

16 November 2008 International Day for Tolerance (UNESCO), World Day of

Remembrance for Road Traffice Victims

20 November 2008 Universal Children’s Day (UNICEF)

21 November 2008 World Television Day, Philosophy Day at UNESCO (UNESCO)

25 November 2008 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

29 November 2008 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

1 December 2008 World AIDS Day (WHO)

2 December 2008 International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

3 December 2008 International Day of Disabled Persons

5 December 2008 International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development

7 December 2008 International Civil Aviation Day (ICAO)

9 December 2008 International Anti-Corruption Day

10 December 2008 Human Rights Day

11 December 2008 International Mountain Day

18 December 2008 International Migrant’s Day

19 December 2008 United Nations Day for South –South Cooperation

Annexure I

In Japan humiliated by defeat

“This is it, this is what I am looking for” shouted KOICHI UEDA, when he learnt of the
opening in Paris of the 1st session of the General Conference of UNESCO from the morning
paper of 25 November 1946, which also quoted the Preamble to the Organization’s

As KOICHI UEDA read the words: “Since wars being in the minds of men, it is in the minds of
mean that the defenses of peace must be constructed”, he felt as through an “electric shock”
was running through his being.

This story is as familiar to the members and friends of the UNESCO Clubs as that about the
narrator dipping a small “Madeleine” cake in his cup of tea is to the devotees of MARCEL
PROUST. However, this electric shock did not have the effect of resuscitating the past the
houses of CHARLES SWANN and the Duchesse DE GUERMANTES, through which the
child discovering them was reborn. Instead, it produced the vision of a future which
transformed the faint beating of KOICHI UEDA’s heart, overburdened by the sadness and
humiliation caused by his country’s defeat, into a paroxysm of joy.

For months, the young man sat doing nothing in the few square meters of the dismal garret in
which he lived in shanghai, where he had learnt of Japan’s surrender. “The inhumanity of war”,
its disastrous consequences for the belligerent countries, including his own, and the lasting
shock caused by the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagaski all kept on going round in
his head until the day when a “new conviction, new hope” burned in his mind and he realized
that Japan could occupy a place in the world of the future only by becoming a peaceful country
which would never again wage war.

He was repatriated from China and was sent to Sendai, where he served as a liaison officer
between the American occupation forces and the governments of the prefectures in northern
Japan. He was then given permission to start up cultural activities and exchanges between the
two partners, in an endeavour to foster closer familiarity between them. As he was to write
dispassionately some forty years later: “This was the beginning, through on a small scale, of
my work for international peace”.

Thus, the announcement of UNESCO’s creation fell on fertile ground and lived up to the
expectations of the young liaison officer. From then onwards, he dreamt of joining, in some
way or other, in the great undertaking which, although having started at the other end of the
earth, nevertheless involved the entire planet. An intergovernmental organization had come into
being, but did it not call upon everybody to join in it? KOICHI UEDA was convinced of this
when he re-read another sentence of the Preamble to the Constitution “…a peace based
exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a
peace which would secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the
world, and peace must therefore be founded…. Upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of

He then went on a study all the available documents on UNESCO. Gradually, the idea came to
him of creating a non-governmental organization to cooperate with it. He could not wait to
share with other people the dream taking shape in his mind and guiding principles that he was
beginning to flesh out.

Among KOICHI UEDA’s friends was a professor of English literature at Tohoku University in
Sendai, KOCHI DOI. Having lost a son in the war, he, too, denounced the absurdity of armed
conflict and considered that it was of the utmost importance for Japan to regain its place in the
international community through peaceful cultural exchanges.

The fact that they held the same views provided the spark needed, and the two men were soon
to gather around them a hundred or so intellectuals, teachers and media professionals, including
Professor TAKEO KUWABARA, a distinguished man of letters. Thirty years later, it was he
who accompanied the young people selected by the Nipponese Federation to attend courses in
different parts of Europe, with a mandatory visit to UNESCO Headquarters. On those
occasions, Professor KUWABARA’s voice rang out very often within the precincts of the
Organization, which he always visited with the immense pleasure felt by someone who had
rediscovered his country of adoption.

The Sendai UNESCO Association – the first such association in the world was officially
established on 19 July 1947. The Inaugural assembly was held at Tohoku University; it elected
YASUTORI SATAKE, the University’s President, as President of the Association and
Professor DOI as Vice-President, while KOICHI UEDA was appointed its Executive Secretary.

Thirty years later, the participants in the First World Congress of UNESCO Clubs held at the
Organization’s Headquarters in April 1978 decided to celebrate UNESCO Clubs Day on 19
July each year. How many people still remember that?

The Association’s founded informed UNESCO of their decision by sending a message which
was read out at the 2nd session of the General Conference. The Director-General in person
warmly congratulated them and took steps to ensure that books and documents would be sent to
them on a regular basis. KOICHI UEDA undertook to translate JULIAN HUXLEY’s book
UNESCO –its purpose and its Philosophy into Japanese.

Following closely behind, hardly two months later, the Kyoto UNESCO Association, with its
2,000 members, was formed. Its first President was Dr HACHIRO YUASA, President of
Doshisha University, who took a similar path to that of KOICHI UEDA and his friends, in that
he was humiliated at Japan’s defeat, wished to see the country emerge from its isolation and put
his faith in UNESCO.
Students in Sendai and Kyoto set up their own associations and school-children the first
UNESCO Clubs. Since more and more groups of friends of the Organization were being
formed, KOICHI UDEA felt that it was necessary to set up a national federation in order to
coordinate them, and this was inaugurated in Tokyo on 1 May 1948.

Although they had no prior contact with UNESCO and were completely unaware of the
messages that it had issued in its attempt to make young people more attentive to international
understanding, many Japanese – largely adults, including university professors, members of the
medical profession, journalists, writers and artists – turned to the Organization in much the
same way as flowers long shut off from the light turn towards the sun and blossom in its rays.
Because of all they had suffered during the war, their deeply-felt desire to turn Japan into a
country occupied solely with works of the mind and culture by casting off the warlike urges of
the distant and more recent past, was instrumental in bringing about a miracle in which their
aspirations came to be identified with UNESCO’s ideal.

The Japanese movement was to remain deeply marked by the features which it assumed from
the very beginning, and associations composed of adults indeed of pensioners- still occupy a
pre-eminent place in it. KOICHI UEDA went on to say: “Japan was able to become the 61st
member of UNESCO in 1951 while it was still under the Allied Occupation Forces. This was
the first opportunity for occupied Japan to open her closed doors to the outside world after the
end of World War Two. The credit for this should go… to the non-governmental UNESCO

These were the very straightforward words in which he described the tremendous moral
influence that Japan’s UNESCO associations wielded. This is the only known instance where
the non-governmental sector applied itself to encouraging the involvement of the government
in intergovernmental affairs.
Compiled and distributed by Bhutan National Commission for UNESCO, Thimphu Bhutan
Post Box: Nil, 1-7 Wogmin Lam, Namgaychholing, Thimphu: Bhutan
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