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IR Working Paper No. 5
Samuel M. Makinda, ‘UNESCO and International Politics’, IR Working Paper No. 5, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, 1986.
UNESCO has been, and still is, an important part of the global environment. The organisation was established in 1946 to foster intellectual cooperation at an international level and work for the development of the sciences, arts, education, culture and communications. Through these areas of activity, UNESCO has come to play a significant role in international politics. In recent years, Western critics have accused this UN agency of, among other things, extraneous politicisation, but it was Western countries that pollicised UNESCO in the 1940s and 1950s. From the 1960s, UNESCO, like similar UN agencies, has been influenced substantially by Third World countries, which have also attempted to use their numerical preponderance to redefine certain concepts and norms of international behaviour. In spite of UNESCO’s recent problems, the organisation will continue to play an important role in world politics.