|Prospects - Quarterly Review of Education, Vol. 04, No. 2, 1974 (Issue 10) - International aid for educational development (UNESCO, 1974, 164 p.)|
|Notes and reviews|
By naming 1974 as World Population Year, the United Nations General Assembly has presented the world community with a challenge to thought and action on one of the most complex and pressing issues of human progress. The Year provides an opportunity which I hope Unesco and its Member States as well as the other organizations of the United Nations System will use to the full, to ensure that international approaches to demographic questions are directed not merely towards their quantitative aspects but with the positive goal of achieving human rights always in mind.
Seen from this aspect, demographic changes pose many important problems. How can the right to education be achieved by States whose resources are already strained, if the populations demanding this right continue to increase? How can illiteracy be eradicated? How can development be sustained, let alone improved, if the drain on the earth's natural resources continues unchecked? Unesco has already been concerned with problems such as these through its work in education and communication, as well as through its scientific investigations of the relationships between man and the biosphere.
During World Population Year, the Organization's activities in these fields will be continued and extended, and it is my hope that 1974 will be marked by real progress towards its goals, which relate essentially to the quality of life at each level - individual, family, community, national and global - affected by current and projected changes in the demographic situation.
Throughout the Year Unesco will aim to increase knowledge and awareness of population questions in such a way as to encourage the formulation of policies that will ensure full respect for human rights, cultural integrity and national sovereignty. It will also be concerned with the families which are the basic units of human society and with the women who create them. Thus in activities which are already being carried out and which point the way towards the Year's natural sequel - International Women's Year of 1975 - Unesco has developed components for functional literacy instruction which cover population questions, healthy nutrition and child care. The aims of such instruction may be to acquaint women with the population problems which affect their daily lives and to give them the knowledge necessary for decision-making in family welfare planning.
All Unesco's activities in the population field, whether in education, science, culture or communication, are directed to helping the individual to make responsible choices, since respect for the dignity of the human being is fundamental to all the Organization's work. And it is in this spirit that I wish to re-affirm Unesco's commitment to the aims of World Population Year.
Director-General of Unesco