October 22, 1982 | Backgrounder on Education
October 21, 1982 FOR UNESCO, A FAILING GRADE IN EDUCATION in INTRODUCTION !i The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organi zation evokes a benevolent popular image. It is associated with the inter national geological sumey Man and the Bioshpere"--both valuable contributions to the world's culture resources. UNESCO is also connected, popularly, with fostering worldwide literacy in 1980, for example, it launched a campaign to eliminate illite racy in all of Latin America by the year 2000 of UNESCO that goes beyond cultural aspirations to ideological advocacy. Indeed, since UNESCO's birth in 1946, its education programs and publications have lacked political balance. They liave been biased increasingly toward socialist economics and a utopian strain of internationalism that is unsympathetic (often hostile) to the free enterprise system. UNESCO's Education and Social Science sectors seem to be targeting the nation state and free enterprise as dangerous e n emies. Is this the legitimate purpose of UNESCO, which supposedly is providing a balanced and useful education to those who need it most--the poor people of the Third World? Here, UNESCO has earned a failing grade. Even so, UNESCO still enjoys the support of the United States, which pays over 25 percent of the organization's triennial I1assessed budget. Together, the Western industrial nations plus Japan pay about 65 percent restoring the monuments of Cambodia's Angkor Wat or sponsoring I I Regrettably the s e programs are not the whole UNESCO story. There is a side I i I BACKGROUND: UNESCO's GLOBAL NETWORK In the years since its founding, UNESCO has become one of the world's largest-if not indeed the largest--think tank. The UNESCO budget in 1947 was $7 mill i on; today it is more than 140 times that size, or more than $1 billion for the 1981-1983 trien2 nial budget period. Not only does Washington contribute 25 percent of UNESCO1s 600 million assessed budget, but the U.S also contributes 25 percent or more to o ther U.N. agencies, such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Food Program, the World Bank and most Regional Banks, which in turn supply most of UNESCO1s nonassessed funds (nearly 400 million in 1981-1983 According to its Constituti o n, UNESCO has three main tasks as a specialized U.N. agency 1) to Ilmaintain, increase and diffuse knowledge,Il (2 Itto give a fresh impulse to popular education and to the spread of knowledge,Il and (3) llto collaborate in the work of advancing the mutua l understanding and knowledge of all peoples.lI It performs these tasks in all of its major sectors: Education, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Culture and Communication, Information Systems, Statistics. In partial fulfillment of this, UNESCO publishes b ooks and documents, holds international conferences and meetings, and provides consulting services and field experts in education and the social sciences to countries requesting them. Most of UNESCO's client states for educational services are underdevelo p ed nations. UNESCO litera ture tirelessly repeats that it is not a fund-raising organization or even a l1developrnent1l agency, but rather, a llcatalyst.lf Some of its officials and professionals privately characterize UNESCO as a giant consulting firm In any case, UNESCO1s influence scarcely can be underesti mated. Its Paris headquarters staff exceeds 2,5
00. It has several subsidiary organizations such as the International Bureau of Education in Geneva (IEB), the UNESCO Institute of Education in Hamburg dealing with secondary education, the European Center for Higher Education located in Bucharest, and the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP in Paris.
UNESCO publishes four or five books a week every week of the year, making it one of th e world's largest publishers By 1978 it had published 7,000 titles in 70 different languages. About 13,000 UNESCO documents are issued annually. During 1979-80, the year of its General Conference in Bulgaria, UNESCO workshops printed approximately 305 mil lion pages of documents.
UNESCO's worldwide network for information distribution is formidable. Through the National Commissions and other UNESCO outlets in the 158 United Nations member states, the Secretariat has access to national libraries, universitie s, ministries of education, school systems, and national media outlets In addi tion, UNESCO is currently discussing with Intelsat the renting of radio and TV channels on as many as three international satellites.
Intersputnik, the Soviet International Satellite Organization has also been involved in the discussions, as have been the world's major news wire services. If UNESCO establishes such an international satellite TV network for its member states, it will acq u ire the potential to deliver news and information programs to even the most rural parts of the underdeveloped nations. As the 3 international "referee" between the international wire services and producers of satellite shows for such a network on the one h and and client member states on the other, UNESCO would wield enormous power over the mass media world wide concerning the news and information that would be allowed to enter each country via the proposed international satellite network might well be foug ht out at UNESCO in Paris world's most prolific. This year alone, UNESCO plans to host 240 international meetings in the fields of education, science social science, cultural affairs, informatics, and communications.
Nearly a third of UNESCO's current thre e-year budget is earmarked for education programs. An additional $41 million is allocated for the social sciences Decisions A sponsor of conferences, UNESCO may hold the prize as the Permeating programs in every UNESCO sector,however, are arguments advoca ting the !'New International Economic Order."
NIEO, as it is generally known, is a simplistic scheme to redis tribute the world's wealth and resources to more than 100 under developed nations, creating a global welfare state financed mainly by the U.S. and the Western industrial nations: UNESCO books and documents are filled with NIEO rhetoric, and the issue underlies all important UNESCO conference debates. In short NIEO appears to be the UNESCO hidden agenda so-called New World Information Order, and the threat it poses to the free press, for example, stem from applying the NIEO concept to the field- of mass communications The debate on the NIEO'S IMPACT ON EDUCATION AT UNESCO What is the New International Economic Order and where did it come from? It is h ardly Ilnew." As two British authors have pointed out It is the most far-reaching application of Fabian socialist theories of wealth distribution, state control and economic planning to international relations yet attempted by Third World governments and their Western cheerleaders."l Swedish socialist economist Gunnar Myrdal essentially set forth the NIEO scheme in An International Economy in 19
56. The U.N. General Assembly adopted NIEO on May 1, 19
74. More recently.
UNESCO published what may be the definitive theoretical work on NIEO to- date: Towards A-New International Economic Order by Mohammed Bedjaoui, the former Algerian ambassador to France.
Bedjaoui's book is actually a formula for creating a global superstate. all the riches and resources of the planet, a pooling free of any He declares that there must be a "joint pooling of Peter Bauer and John O'Sullivan, "Ordering the World About International Economic Order," Policy Review, Summer 1977, p. 55.
The New 4 national self-seeking.lt2 Bedjaoui sees NIEO as a new Itlaw of mankind.Il He foresees the developing nations establishing Itan international regime and machinery,Il which would regulate the use of earth's resources by the developed nations. This Itinternational the Third World so underdeve l oped nations could compete in the mining of earth's natural treas~res authorityll would also make "capital and technologyll available to What Bedjaoui is really talking about is a world government I with the power to enforce NIEO. British economist Peter B auer and Policy Review editor John O'Sullivan have responded to such arguments by noting just how powerful an Ilinternational authorityll would have to be in order to enforce NIEO. They maintain that only a world government with extensive, or indeed, almo s t dictatorial powers would stand a reasonable chance of enforc ing such an economic order indefinitel Bedjaoui is one of a school of Arab radical intellectuals who have been making their mark at UNESCO. Mustapha Masmoudi, a Tunisian, was the author of The New World.Information Order NWIO), a frontal attack on the world's free press, especially the internatioqal wire services.
Professor Richard Bissell, a University of Pennsylvania political scientist and expert on the U.N., notes the heavy influence of Fre nch left-wing intellectuals of the Jean-Paul Sartre persuasion on UNESCO during the 1950s. Bissell observes that the French government "nearly became communistll around 1948.
About this time many leftist French foreign service officials returned to Paris, and according to Bissell, "had a tremendous influence on UNESCO 11 5 Amadou-Mahtar MlBow of Senegal, Secretary-General of UNESCO since 1974, is a very important player in the harnessing of UNESCOls resources to the NIEO. He has frequently enunicated NIEO as UNESCO's most important product UNESCO has made the search for a new international economic order one of the major directions of its actions-perhaps even its main focus.6 Mohammed Bedjaoui, "Towards A New International Economic Order, (Paris UNESCO; an d London: Homes and Meier, 1979), p. 235.
Ibid. p. 237 Gr and O'Sullivan op. cit p. 68.
Dr . Richard Bissell, Dept. of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania interview, July 26, 1982.
Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow, "Towards a New Form of Dialogue Between th e Nations address delivered at the 11th Special Session of the U.N. General Assembly September-2, 1980; also this passage given again in one of M'Bow's addresses at UNESCO General Conference, September-October 1980, Belgrade, Yugoslavia. 5 In 1976, M'Bow c ommissioned the writing of Moving Towards Change: Some Thouqhts on the New International Economic Order, an outline of UNESCO's role in promoting NIEO. During his term as from its original goal of creating world 'Iintellectual cooperation toward emphasis on Third World lldevelopment,lt which translates to NIEO.
Moving Toward Change, moreover, explicitly rejects the Western free market economy, stating that the Western model of development' is not generally applicable in space or in time."
The book implores developing states to turn away from "the centers of economic power (e.g. the United States) as the sole repositories of truth, civilization and ~niversality It calls for a "strengthened power structure at the inter national level This I' s trengtheningll would serve to weld the U.N. specialized agencies closer together, apparently under the umbrella of a superagency that would operate by "planning proce dures rather than "market mechanisms What this adds up to is a planned world economy und er the jurisdiction of a U.N. economic planning agency I T]he instruments of free exchange, (1.e dollars) favour the strongest, so that planning is essential to allow of participation by the weakest countries which are in the majority.
Thus, in looking mor e deeply into UNESCO's commitment to Not NIEO, it becomes clear that M'Bow and his staff see the U.N. as the focal point for such a new socialist, planned economy employ ing a new monetary system and a new medium of ex~hange only does M'Bow's UNESCO ignor e the arguments in support of capitalism but, what is worse, it ignores the decades of evidence that free enterprise and a strong private sector are indispensable ingredients for economic development in the Third World.
Perhaps MIBOW'S motive is to 'guaran tee perpetuation of UNESCO's own bureaucracy. Indeed, Moving'Towards Change strongly suggests that the creation of a new international economic regula tory agency under the U.N. canopy'may be the only way to right the world economy and to avert eventual w a r treatise, UNESCO is supposed to make four major contributions to NIEO 1) facilitating the transfer of science and technology from the West to the Third World 2) broadening the scope of education and directing its course so that the people of each countr y will be fitted to see their ~wn-development 3 developing communications and information systems for the develop ing countries and (4) helping peoples of the Third World to make According to this Moving Towards Change; Some Thoughts on the New Internation al Economic Order (Paris: UNESCO Press, 1976 p. 19 m pp. 37-38.
Ibid p. 53 6 the change to the technological world without losing their cultural identity by teaching them how to I1examine1l themselves and their values through the modern social sciences.1 H ow much influence does the United States have in return for its 25 percent support of the UNESCO budget? Not much. For example, a Soviet national is an Assistant Director-General at UNESCO--Sioma Tanguiane, in charge of the extremely important educational programs--but there is no American in a comparable Assistant Director-Generalship. Americans make up only 5.1 percent of the UNESCO professional staff of directors and senior posts, despite the huge U.S. financial backing. The combination of M'BowIs NIEO sympathies and the scarcity of free enterprise oriented Americans and Westerners in positions of authority has made UNESCO a veritable broadcasting center for the myths of a share-the-wealth, global utopia.
These myths of course, are most harmful to the de veloping nations themselves. Instead of urging the advantages of hard work and independent business enterprise and investment, NIEO preaches that poor nations can become affluent by demanding the wealth of the developed, industrial countries--a sure way o f condemning the already poor nations to even more poverty.
Consistent with encouraging such myths, UNESCO has for some time given education money to national liberation movements-most I I of them Marxist. These have included the FRELIMO of Mozambique and the MPLA of Angola, both of which are now in power in their respective countries. Aid has also gone to the terrorist Pales I I tine Liberation Organization; to the Southwest African People's Organization (SWAPO), a Marxist group with a long record of terr o r in Namibia; to the African National Congress (ANC), another Marxist guerrilla group using terrorist warfare against South Africa; and the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), a Maoist spinoff faction of the ANC. The PLO, SWAPO, ANC, and PAC have been allocate d UNESCO education funds totaling at least 8 million for 1981-83.
In backing liberation movements, however, UNESCO, like the rest of the U.N., invokes a double standard. While Marxist and anti-Western terrorist groups get the money and support, the non-Mar xist liberation movements in South Africa, Namibia, and the Middle East are not funded or recognized by UNESCO. Apparently UNESCO is not opposed to factions that would impose the socialist NIEO by armed force. Indeed, FRELIMO and the MPLA have already don e just that in Mozambique and Angola in part with UNESCO funds. UNDP and the World Food Program, which also have given large sums to these liberation groups, help to fund and cooperate closely with UNESCO lo Ibid pp. 85-86. 7 NIEO and UNESCO's Education an d Social Science Programs Director-General M'Bow and the UNESCO Secretariat see the Education and the Social Science sectors of UNESCO as the means of realizing the '!new international economic order.Il In line with its Fabian socialist underpinnings, the NIEO gradually has politicized all of UNESCO's sectors, including Education and soc.ial Science.
How can UNESCO influence the world's education systems in favor of NIEO or any other theory? The answer lies in UNESCO's resolve to help with science and techn ology transfer, to "broaden the scope of education to develop communications and information systems, and to help societies with self-examination through social science techniques. In each of these activities UNESCO offers the same kind of assistance: inf ormation in the form of books, studies, and surveys; conferences of experts hosted by UNESCO; and training natives of UNESCO member' states in disciplines such as education and science.
In the'case of training, UNESCO acts as a consultant and middleman. Fo r a literacy program, for instance, UNESCO recruits experts from among.its 158 member states and pays their salaries expenses, travel, and equipment either out of its own funds, the funds of the requesting country, another international organiza tion, or a combination of these funding sources. This role of ltcatalystll makes UNESCO attractive to scholars and politicians alike. It provides an international clearinghouse for experts and ideas As a huge think tank, it is a major organizer of conferences for e x perts in fields ranging from educational admini stration to computer science and biophysics. Scholars and scien tists, interviewed for this study, who have attended UNESCO meetings, often remarked that UNESCO conferences attracted profes sionals from more countries than any other organization. It is through providing this international forum, Ilintellectual coopera tion as UNESCO calls it, that it wields so much influence.
UNESCO itself, then, is almost a kind of university where the world's thinkers and p lanners can meet. Such a forum is especially attractive to professionals and government officials of the developing nations. Were UNESCO to provide them with information and training on the full spectrum of rationales strategies, and tactics for various s y stems of economic develop ment and other matters, it would be fulfilling the terms of its charter. Instead, UNESCO has been betraying its charter. Under Director-General MIBOW, the UNESCO Secretariat has been transmogri fied into an advocate, even a lobby ist, for one system--the NIEO.
Translating NIEO into Educational Planning A key to UNESCO's NIEO education strategy is set forth in Movinq Towards Change when it calls for the llremodelling of present educational systems.Illl In this regard, UNESCO intends l1 Ibid p. 89 8 to influence the top officials of governments to carry home the NIEO formulas and seed them in their local school systems.12 Thus will UNESCO transmit these NIEO ideas to Third World class rooms and students.
One way to seed these develop ment schemes into education systems is through planning and management procedures. During the last fifteen years, largely through its subsidiary, the International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP) in Paris and its Regional Training Centers and Reg ional Offices for Educa tion, UNESCO has trained many high and middle-level personnel for the Third World.
UNESCO educational planning models exhibit a dangerous drift toward highly centralized, state controlled educational systems modeled closely after socialist style planned economies. This is in particular contrast to education in the United States, which e njoys one of the few truly decentralized school systems.
Daniel Haag, an education expert and professor at the Univer sity of Neuchatel in Switzerland, writes in a new UNESCO book that too much decentralization may interfere with the "right to educationf1 proclaimed in the 1948 U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Decentralization accompanied by broad local autho'rity may without corrective mechanism, run counter to an extension of the right to education, either because certain regions are poorer in r elation to others, or because certain local administrations deliberately devote fewer resources to education than e1~ewhere.l Haag makes it clear that he favors a business style of school management modeled after systems theory. This has been tried in the U.S. under the aegis 'of the planning-programming budgeting system PPBS The effect is to standardize all subjects taught and classwork through the use of mechanized teaching llmodules.ll Whereas systems theory management might work well for an auto assemb l y line, i't makes classroom teaching less spontane ous and more artificial. Through its application of accounting procedures to students, it also lends itself well to Pavlovian behavior modification" techniques PPBS is one of several models for centralizi n g an entire country's education system under a single ministry or department. The centralized ministry, through a computer data bank, can be directly tied to the computers of each school district, region, or state. This makes for a high degree of standard i zation of curricula and gives tremendous control to the state education authority. Completely discarded l2 Ibid l3 Daniel Haag, The Right To Education: What Kind of Management Paris UNESCO, 1982 p. 95 9 are the private and decentralized systems of educati o n that have proved so valuable in the developed West. Haag suggests PPBS-type systems lead to lldecentralization.ll What he really means is they lead to fragmentation of local school districts and more centralization of power at the top--at the ministry l evel.
The idea of centralized education has long been brewing at UNESCO. One of UNESCO's bestselling books, Learning To Be The World Of Education Today and Tomorrow, now available in 35 languages, called for state control of education in 1972 We would reco mmend that one single State authority be given general responsibility for educational activity or at least for the entire school system.14 In 1960, a decade before Learninq To Be, UNESCO adopted a ItConvention Against Discrimination in Education.Il outlaw s discrimination of any kind by educational institutions against students and teachers it also requires all nations party to the treaty to submit regular reports to UNESCO on legislative and administrative measures taken against such discrimination.
And Ar ticle 8 contains the startling pr.ovision that !'any dispute between two or more states" party to the Convention shall, fail ing a negotiated settlement be referred to the International Court of Justice (the World Court at the Hague) for a final decision It is an attempt at educational centralization on a world scale Though it The Convention was hailed by both the USSR and Cuba.
The NIEO inspired revival of the "right to educationll idea is the 1980s' version of this Discrimination Convention. On February 2, '1970, Senator William Proxmire urged the ratification of the UNESCO Discrimination Convention by the U.S. Senate. Thus far the Senate has not signed this convention. Nor has the Senate signed two U.N. Human Rights Convenants, one on civil and politica l rights, the other on economic, social, and cultural rights. Both these covenants--to date signed by less than half of UNESCO's members--are inspired by the U.N. Universal Declara tion of Human Rights of 19
48. One of the I'human rights" listed in the lat ter document is the llrightll to state-supplied "food clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social servicesll as well as unemployment benefits, and a "right to securityll in case of sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of liv e lihood beyond [onets] control. This is shorthand advocacy for the social welfare state, in which each person has the Ilrightll to all material well-being simply by virtue of being alive. This is the essence of NIEO Similar !'human rights" are strongly adv o cated by UNESCO as ideal school subject matter from the primary grades through university education l4 Edgar Faure (ed Learning To Be: The World of Education Today and Tomorrow (Paris: UNESCO, 1972 p. 272. 10 NIEO AS THE CURRICULUM OF LIFELONG EDUCATION A n other pervasive phrase in UNESCO education documents is Illifelong education.If At first the idea seems benign enough--con tinuing the educational experience throughout an individual's entire life. A closer look reveals that this is another UNESCO plannin g matrix for standardization and centralization of educa tion.
UNESCO educational theorists define lifelong education broadly as the entire process of a person's life--in and out of school. UNESCO places great emphasis on ll%on-formallf and out-of-school e ducation for obvious political reasons. It rejects what it calls 'Ielitist education systems in favor of those designed to provide greater social justice I1 llElitistlf is UNESCO-speak for school systems rooted in the Western middle-class tradition.
The o bjective is to create a new kind of school system devoid of the social-cultural traditions of the Western industrialized nations. This new kind of school tradition has been called l'develop ment education,Il and as "lifelong education,If it is reinforced t hroughout life. It concentrates on the lfinjustice1I worked against poor countries by the developed nations, the main injustice being the very wealth of the developed nations. One of its advocates, Ruth Padrun, writing in a UNESCO Schools Project circular , attacks the Western industrial nations The development of certain nations (e.g. the U.S Western Europe, etc.) is only possible in today's world to the extent that it is rooted in the underdevelopment of other countries. l6 This is pure NIEO, the unsubsta n tiated argument that Western colonialism and imperialism are the cause of Third World under development. One problem with the argument is that not all the Third World is poor. Even aside from the oil-rich states Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, K enya, Brazil, Ivory Coast, and Singapore have all experienced rapid economic growth.
Nonetheless, UNESCO markets, as its educational philosophy the NIEO concept that the Western industrial nations have acquired their wealth unjustly and that their power in the world economy must be broken and their wealth redistributed.
Ruth Padrun sums this up by saying that present-day educa tion is llstill fundamentally conservative and traditionalIf and must be radicalized with the I'development education ideology as i n the internationalist school curricula of Hungary and Sweden.17 l5 l6 l7 Ibid Thinking Ahead UNESCO, 1977 p. 199.
Ruth Padrun, "Development Education in Schools I International Under standing at Schools, No. 28 p. 8 UNESCO and the Challenges to Today and Tomorrow (Paris 11 She notes that centralized school systems like those in the United Kingdom and Switzerland are useful. for NIEO-oriented teaching experiments, but "offer no hope of extending the scope of such work.1t In contrast, under centralized sys t ems like those of France or Sweden "every decision to introduce changes or reform has speedy repercussions throughout the country.1118 Padrun candidly admits that Itwe do not think that education is neutral; on the contrary, it is an essentially political phenom enon.Itlg She adds that children between ten and fifteen years old are ideally suited to be "sensitizedt1 to the Illink that exists between the dependence of developing countries on the dominating industrialized nations and the situations of depend ence and domination evident within their own countries.tt20 Was UNESCO created to propagate such theories?
Lifelong education now permeates UNESCO thinking on education.
It was one of the objectives of the U.N.!s International Education Year in 1970 It was a major theme of the International Conference on Education sponsored by UNESCO1s International Bureau of Educa tion in Geneva in 19
75. Edgar Faure, former French Prime Minister and Minister of Education, highlighted it in Learning To Be in 19
72. It is a main theme in a 1977 UNESCO book Education Today for the World of Tomorrow by the then Secretary-General of the Swiss National Commission for UNESCO, Charles Hummel. UNESCO Director-General M'Bow commissioned another book in 1977 called Thinki n g Ahead: UNESCO, The Challenges of Today and Tomorrow which Promotes lifeloncr education. In 1979, UNESCO's Institute of Education (UIE) in Hamburg solicited studies from member states around the world on the subject of IISchool Textbooks for Lifelong Edu cation.lI The Northwest Regional Education Laboratory of Portland, Oregon, prepared the U.S. study for UIE with financ ing from the federal governmentls National Institute of Education.
Lifelong education is also a major theme in UNESCOts Associated Schools Project and is often discussed in the ProjectIs.journa1 International Understanding at School.
The lifelong education theme has become as well a strategy for breaking down the traditional ItEurope-centeredit educational traditions, which are called too ilrigidtt to accommodate the Itglobal perspectivett that UNESCO views as the guiding principle in education at all levels. The impetus for this global perspec tive was formally stated in the I1Recommendation concerning Educa tion for International Underst a nding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms drafted at the 18th UNESCO General Conference in Paris in October November 1974 l8 Ibid p. 6 l9 Ibid 2o Ibid. 12 This document is essentially which was drafted o n May.1 of the Assembly. The global perspective the UNESCO version of the NIEO same year in the U.N. General UNESCO is promoting for the world' s-education system is specific for International Understanding" and in other UNESCO writings the direction is to w ard making the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Itan integral part of the developing personality of each child, adolescent, young person or adult UNESCO encourages inclusion of the Declaration as part of a national policy on international educat i on. As such, the universal "welfare right of that controversial Declaration is to be promoted by UNESCO as an essential element in education. The 1974 'IInternational Under standing" also recommends that Both in the IIRecommendation Education should empha s ize the true interests of peoples and their incompatibility with the interest of monopolis tic groups holding economic and political power, which practice exploitation and foment war.21 Certainly no one can be against a policy that decries exploi tation a n d fomenting war, but words have very special meanings in the U.N. context.22 When filtered through the NIEO prism, Ilmono polistic groupstt becomes for school'children not only all agencies with enormous power (such as the ruling parties of one-party stat e s), but also multinational corporations and governments of the Western industrial nations. This is what Adelaide Kernochan suggested in UNESCO's Associated Schools Project journal Interna tional Understanding at School. For teaching children the concept o f Ileconomic injustice, I' Kernochan recommends Insights concerning the unjust division of the world's resources, materialism and human values can evolve from investigation of a single commercial product, such as aspirin. Students can research price-fixing , advertis ing, the power of the producer and consumer, the avail ability of health care and medicine for the poor, and role of multinational corporations.23 21 UNESCO "Recommendation Concerning Education for International Understand ing, Co-operation and Peace and Education Relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms," adopted at UNESCO 18th General Conference, Paris October 17-November 23, 1974, Section V, item #15.
See Juliana Geran Pilon, Ph.D. "Through the Looking Glass: The Political Culture of the U.N I Backgrounder #206, The Heritage 'Foundation, August 30, 1982.
Adelaide Kernochan Suggestions for Innovative Programmes and Projects in Associated Schools: An Account of the Meeting held at UNESCO H eadquarters, July 21-25, 1975," printed in Inte rnational Understanding at School, C30, p. 5 22 23 13 UNESCO's LOBBYING FOR NIEO EDUCATION What kind of dividends has UNESCO realized on its investment in publicity and publishing to promote the teaching of NIEO redistribution and welfare economics in the schools? As a thriv ing think tank and international intellectual forum, UNESCO influences education from the top down pursued consciously--especially under the aegis of '!lifelong education1!--through its regional conferences of Ministers of Education, i t s International Conferences on Education of the IBE in Geneva, meetings with the senior education officials of the 25 least developed countries, the International Commission of the Development of Education, as well as its publications and inter national m eetings of experts.24 And this is paying off.
In the recommendations of the UNESCO Regional Conferences of Education Ministers from 1976-1980, there are endorsements by the participants of various NIEO-oriented education programs 1976 Conference of Ministe rs of Education of the African Member States held in Lagos, Nigeria, resolved to tlEncourage (Director General M'Bow) strongly in the efforts which he is making to involve UNESCO in the establishment of a new international econo mic, social and cultural o r der" and assured !!him of their resolute support in all his efforts to overcome the obstacles to which his action may give rise.1125 This policy has been The The 1977 Arab Education Ministers conference in Abu Dhabi At requested increased UNESCO aid for e d ucation to the PL0.26 the 1978 Regional Conference for the Education Ministers of Asia and Oceania, M'Bow endorsed NIEO and its corresponding !'New International Social Order" in his closing remarks to the partici pant The 1979 Regional Conference of the E ducation Ministers of Latin America and.the Caribbean in Mexico City ringingly endorsed NIEO, requesting UNESCO Itto continue to collaborate assiduously in the speedy inauguration of a New International Economic Order The Ministers at this conference blam e d the low funding of education in the Latin American and Caribbean region and even the region's low ''gross national product,l! not on these nations' own woeful economic policies, but on Itmajor problems stemming from an unjust international economic orde r.1128 24 Thinking Ahead, op. cit pp. 198-199 25 26 27 28 Final Report, UNESCO Regional Conference of Ministers of Education of the African Member States, Lagos, Nigeria, January 27-February 4, 1976, p. 34.
Final Report, UNESCO Regional Conference of Education Ministers, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 1977, p 36 Final Report, UNESCO 4th Regional Conference of Ministers of Education for Asia and Oceania, Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 24-August 1, 1978, p. 12.
Final Report, UNESCO Regional Conference of Educati on Ministers in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico City, December 4-13, 1979, Recommendation No. 29. 'I 14 In 1980, Europe's Education Ministers met at their UNESCO regional conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. They strongly endorsed UNESCO's program in Ed u cation for International Understanding-in effect, a curriculum highly antagonistic to the free market economy and multinational corporations ally embraced UNESCO1s programs in Itdisarmament education,Il in opposition, among other things, to needed NATO de fense outlays.
UNESCO obviously has mobilized active support for its NIEO based education programs and ideas. It has carried on this lobbying at the highest levels of the education ministries on three continents--Africa, Latin America, and Europe They also enthusiastic UNESCO TAKES NIEO INTO THE CLASSROOM UNESCO educational theorists have divided the NIEO concept into a number of classroom subjects easily grasped by children.
The strong political bias is well disguised. Most of the NIEO classroom curriculu m comes under such innocuous titles as, "Teach ing International Human Rights,Il IIDisarmament (or Peace) Educa tion,ll and ItMoral (or Values) Education.Il The term "New Interna tional Economic Orderll is not heard much in U.S. education, but most NIEO c oncepts are being promoted in the United States under the title IIGlobal Education" or IIGlobal Perspectivesll by a group af radical educators.
UNESCO'S Associated Schools Program In its Associated Schools Project UNESCO has a small, but growing grass-root s movement for NIEO centered education with a global perspective. At its start in 1953, the program had 33 schools in 15 countries. Today there are 1,500 schools in 79 countries. They report both to their National Commissions for UNESCO and to UNESCO head q uarters in Paris. While students in these schools study "other countries and cultures,Il they also study disarmament, education, and It international human rights1 with a NIEO slant. In a recent issue of the Associated Schools Project journal, Internation a l Understanding at School, Prem Kirpal of India, former Chairman of UNESCOls Executive Board called for a new universal form of international education for the 21st Century, ItEducation for International Understanding the NIEO rationale for lifelong educa t ion.2g The Associated Schools Project consistently runs pro-NIEO articles in its journal, such as IITowards a New International Economic Order," by B.P. Menon of the U.N. Center for Economic and Social Information. This article is a short history of the 2 9 Prem Kirpal, "Toward an Education for the 21st Century; The Global Pro spects," International Understanding at School 41,-pp. 3-6. 15 NIEO concept designed for teachers to incorporate into their lesson plans It includes such statements as: world peace is impossible as long as two-thirds of the planet's population exist in poverty and the remain ing third live in wasteful affluence.30 The bias is palpable. Nothing is said, for instance, about the enormous and exhaustively documented wastefulness and corrup tion of Third World governments who, after all, are the direct recipients of massive amounts of Western foreign aid. The fact that Western aid is often squandered by Third World leaders before it reaches the Third World poor is never mentioned in UNESCO d iscussions of the NIEO.
Teaching International Human Rights UNESCO guidelines for teaching international human rights suggest using certain U.N. human rights documents-particularly the 1948 Universal Declaration 0.f Human Rights, but also the 1959 Declarat ion on the Rights of the Child, the 1963 Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the 1967 Declaration of the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women--as the basis for teaching. There are often references to the human r ights violations of apartheid in South Africa or to alleged violations by the governments of Chile, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador or Honduras. These guidelines are strange ly silent about the well-known human rights violations in the USSR, Cuba, Mai nland China, Eastern Europe, or Vietnam.
Most UNESCO documents on teaching international human rights seem not to focus on what have been regarded traditionally as those human rights essential to a free society such as free speech, free assembly, right to religion, and free press. The emphasis r a ther is on the various aspects of the lfrightll to a welfare state society stemming from Article 25 in the U.N. Univer sal Declaration of Human Rights ing human rights, for example, UNESCO author and former vice chairman of the U.S. National Commission fo r UNESCO, Judith Torney-Purta, suggests that "hunger in underdeveloped nations is a problem of social and economic rights.1131 This is the NIEO argument adapted to the classroom. Torney-Purta also suggests llsequencingll techniques like presenting the U.N. IIInternational Bill of Rightsll before teaching children about their own national Constitution or Bill of Rights. Reason if children acquire an international concept first, they will tend to identify with it and thus not develop a first loyalty to their own country and onstitution.32 In a new UNESCO book on teach 30 31 32 B.P. Menon, "Towards a New International Economic Order," International Understanding at School 34, p. 5.
Dr. Judith Torney-Purta, Teaching for International Understanding, Peace and Hum an Rights, review manuscript (Paris: UNESCO, 19821, p 8 Dr. Judith Torney-Purta, from Political Education in Flux, Heater and Gillespie, eds. (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications Inc.,1981) pa 285. 16 The 1973 International Congress on the Teaching o f Human Rights in Vienna heard a report on !'Perspectives on the Teaching Human Rights in the European Socialist Countries.I! Much was made of the llfreedoml! of East Germans "from exploitation from capital ists and how East Germans and Poles study racism, apartheid, and international legal regulation of human rights. This report said not a word about violations of free speech in Czechoslovakia harassment of lldissidentslf in Yugoslavia and Romania, and viola tion of religious freedoms in Hungary and elsewh e re in Eastern Europe UNESCOts Disarmament Education Strategy Oblivion is the only alternative to world disarmament So proclaims Sean McBride, UNESCO author and winner of both the Lenin and Nobel Peace Prizes, and it sums up well the UNESCO policy on disar m ament education. UNESCO has made disarmament education an adjunct to its NIEO development policy by repeating how the achievement of total world disarmament would free over 500 billion annually in funds for Third World development.33 The arms race is ther eby pictured as yet another form of exploita tion of the world's poor nations by. the rich.
Many UNESCO authors link the realization of the NIEO and the accomplishment of world disarmament. Mohammed Bedjaoui, one of the chief UNESCO theorists on the NIEO a nd international law writes that without a global Eedistribution of the planet's wealth to the developing nations "we shall bring down upon our heads the atomic apocalypse.1134 Thus the developing nations are made both the underdog heroes and, somehow, th e victims of the globe's arms producers. Ignored are the facts that the vast majority of global arms outlays are for non-nuclear weapons and that arms sales to Third World nations are made at the request sometimes the pleading--of Third World governments.
UNESCO advocacy for unilateral disarmament is well publicized.
Whole issues of the monthly UNESCO Courier magazine are devoted to disarmament. The March 1982 edition, for instance, attacked military spending as a waste of (1) manpower, (2) industrial prod uction, (3) raw materials, (4) land, (5) research and develop ment, as well as money.35 No alternative view was given. Nothing was said about the need for national self-defense sweeping condemnation, was there any mention of arms being used at this moment against innocent civilians in the conventional biological, and chemical warfare in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia Nor, in this 33 34 Bedj.aoui, op. cit., p. 240. 35 World Problems in the Classroom, Educational Studies and Documents Paris: UNESCO, 1981 41, p. 16 Ten Principles of Disarmament Education," UNESCO Courier, September 1980, p. 19 17 The September 1980 Courier, entitled "A Farewell to Arms also was devoted entirely to disarmament. This issue reprinted the "Ten Principles for Disarmament Educationl l adopted by the UNESCO World Congress on Disarmament Education, held in Paris on June 9-13, 19
80. Among those principles are recommendations for distributing pro-disarmament materials to schools, families community organizations, work places, universitie s, research centers, and information media outlets. There is a call for 'Ithe most imaginative teaching methods, particularly those of partici patory learning" to be employed in the schools to teach disarma ment. The trouble is UNESCO's view of disarmamen t has become woefully unbalanced. As such, it fails to advance the cause of genuine disarmament that could lead to a safer world.
Rodolfo Stavenhagen, in 1980 the UNESCO Assistant Director General for Social Science and.its Applications, told the UNESCO Wo rld Congress on Disarmament that there is need for a global multilateral effort to promote disarmament.I' He also castigated most of our textbooks, history books and popular literaturell for helping "to conjure up a glorified vision of military personali t ies, feats of arms, wars and conquests to which children are conditioned from an early age.1136 Stavenhagen and other UNESCO advocates of disarmament offer no solution, however, to solving the arms race. Nor do they consider what to do about countries wit h expansionist military policies that do not allow teaching about disarmament violations by their own governments or even allow freedom of expression in their schools or press UNESCO And Values Education UNESCO and Director-General M'Bow, who commissioned M oving Toward Change, consider values education an important part of the strategy to achieve the NIEO. Suddenly introducing high technology and high-speed communications into a relatively primitive develop ing nation can have drastic social consequences. U NESCO, therefore looks to its social sciences sector to help developing nations make the technological switch.
There is a point, however, at which so-called values educa tion, values clarification, or moral education--to cite a few of its many names--becom es manipulative conditioning of the mind and emotions. Such manipulative techniques derive from the behaviorist school often associated with the American psychologist, B.F.
Skinner. This school regards man as merely a more sophisticated animal who has no spiritual dimension or even free will kind of psychology and the values education based on it are very popular among UNESCO's writers and thinkers This 36 In Marek Thee (ed Armaments, Arms Control and Disarmament (Paris: The UNESCO Press, 19Sl p. 327. 18 A good example is the UNESCO bestseller, Learninq To Be edited by former French Prime Minister and Minister of Education Edgar Faure, together with a UNESCO International Commission on the Development of Education. This Commission also included Soviet Educ ation Professor, Arthur V. Petrovsky; an American adviser on international education from the Ford Foundation Frederick Champion Ward; and professors from Iran, Syria, the Congo, and Chile.
The authors claim to be in search of a Itnew educational order It which is "based on scientific and technological training one of the essential components of scientific humanism.tt37 Scientific humanism allows no room for any religious belief embodying a divine principle or person. Faure and his associates take a slap a t the hundreds of millions of believers in the world by stating early in the book that religions and belief in the Divine are the real reasons for Itmany of the hierarchical forms and discriminatory practices for which current educational systems are blame d 1138 Without God or religious standards, a moral substitute is sought in Itrelativity and dialectical thought, which would appear to be say the writers of Learning To Be, Ita fertile ground in which to cultivate the seeds of tolerance.!l In the West this has come to be known as Itsituation ethics.It It accepts no absolute moral principles. All values become relative. Thus, the princi ples of good and evil are not accepted. Says the Faure book An individual should avoid systematically setting up his belief s and convictions, his behavior and customs as models or rules valid for all times tt39 This would rule out the Ten Commandments and other religious imperatives.
W. D. Wall, a British educational psychologist, wrote a bestseller for UNESCO, Constructive Ed ucation for Children It was first published in 1955 to summarize the results of the 1952 Regional Conference on Education and Mental Health of Children in Europe. His 1975 revision of the book for UNESCO echoes some of the familiar themes of'the Faure wor k . Again there is the .attack on religious belief as the breeding ground of ttintolerance.w Wall attacks the idea of truth itself. The healthy psyche, he writes, should cultivate Provisional belief rather than conviction, the acceptance of the notion that l ttruthtt may be personal and many-sided the dynamic tolerance of true agnosticism which accepts that doubt is an essential background to action and that conviction may be a bad master.40 37 Faure, op. cit p. 146 38 ut p. 8 39 Ibid p. 148 40 W.D. Wall, Con s tructive Education for Children (Paris and London: UNESCO and Harrap, 1975 p. 55. 19 For this era of "true agnosticism to be born, Wall says the world's population must first be reduced through population education and the NIEO must communize at least par t of the wealth of the developed nations.41 advises the world's parents not to teach their children religious principles of morality, which he calls moral indoctrination Thus, standing solidly in the NIEO camp, Wall's UNESCO book Howard D. Mehlinger, a U.S . social scientist and advocate of Its purpose is to advise teachers how a NIEO education, has edited a 1981 UNESCO Handbook for the Teach- ing of the Social Studies to teach situation ethics and NIEO concepts to children. These techniques are known to Ame r ican educators as Values clarifica tion games." The format is usually a student group discussion with the teacher acting as llfacilitatorll in which the topic is some sort of crisis like a sinking boat crowded with people. Typically, the students are aske d to decide who drowns and who lives. This psychological technique is designed to teach young- sters that all values are relative and subject to change with the situation. Thus the term Ilsituation ethics.
In one value game proposed for children in this UN ESCO book available through UNESCO in 158 countries, students are given the llproblemlt concerning a man whose wife is dying of cancer and who does not have the money to buy the rare drug needed for her cure.
The man with the rare drug is characterized as a miser, unwilling to lower his $2,000 price. Students are then asked to decide whether or not the husband should steal the The problem is designed to prompt the student to decide in favor of stealing.
There is no mention of such alternatives as the'husband's trying to get an emergency loan from friends or putting up property as collateral. This and the other values games in such books condi tion students for accepting the NIEO arguments of welfare econ omics and the redistribution of wealth and the myth that developing countries are poor mainly because developed states are relatively wealthy.
Michel Debeauvais, in a recent issue of UNESCO's Prospects uarterly Review of Education, sees the traditional school Eystem as part of the ''values problem in'the Third World.
What concerns us here is the social selection performed by the education system insofar as it contributes to the distribution of social roles and jobs in a hierar chized society. The hierarchy of school tends to match the job hierarchy; where expansion of the education system is not matched by changes in the job structure 41 Ibid p. 205. 42 Howard D. Mehlinger, UNESCO Handbook for the Teaching of the Social Sciences Paris and London: UNESCO an d Croom Helm Ltd 1981 p. 195 20 the situation is perceived as a dysfunction requiring corrective mea~ures.4 The assumption here is that there is such a thing as an unhierarchial or classless,society and that distributing wealth within an individual country and between countries would equalize all social roles and hierarchical positions. This is utopian which is fine were it published by a philosophical journal or a partisan political organization. That such wishful thinking is being funded and disseminated by the U.N however, is a very different matter.
CONCLUSION According to its own Constitution, UNESCO's purpose is to increase and diffuse llknowledgell to the world and to "give a fresh impulsell to education. In the past decade, however, UNESCO increasing ly has sacrificed education to its obsession with transferring the wealth of the developed industrial nations to the underdeveloped nations and creating a New International Economic Order by the year 20
00. This is Director-General M'Bow's agenda and has become UNESCO's.
By promoting the NIEO, M'Bow and his aides mislead rather than serve the developing world they want, however. Third World development is referred to as a Ilworldwide New Deal in the draft of the UNESCO Medium Term Plan 1984-1989 This plus the UNESCO platform of a "strengthened international power structure,Il the NIEO references to a new monetary system, and the UNESCO promotion of a U.N. based economic planning agency add up to a UNESCO bureaucracy that is trying to perpetuate its own ex i stence. In promoting NIEO so strongly UNESCO is promoting itself as at least one of the NIEO administrat ing agencies. It is endorsing "big government spendingt1 in the arena of international agencies and trying to move world opinion in the direction of a planned socialist economy They are quite explicit in what The U.S. and the West have more than a simply curious interest in this matter. Americans pay more of UNESCO1s bill than any other people As such, they have a right to demand that their costly inves tment in education for the developing world will one day pay dividends to those developing nations M'Bow and UNESCO offer no hope of this.
By emphasizing the NIEO, not literacy, UNESCO1s secretariat is ignoring the free enterprise systems which have demons trated the ability to develop the underdeveloped and to raise the living standards for all within a nation. Ironically, it is precisely 43 Michel Debeauvais, "Education and a New International Economic Order Prospects: Quarterly Review of Education, 1982, Vol. 12, No. 2, p. 141. 21 the success of the Western industrial economics that makes UNESCO possible at all. For the U.S. and the Western nations to provide 65 percent of the budget of an international think tank bent apparently on the destruction of the free enterprise system is simply stupid: Even more, it is self-destructive.
What is to be done about UNESCO To start, the American public should demand a congressional investigation of the promoters of NIEO at UNESCO and their extensive plans to saturate the governments of developing nations with anti-free market advice And then, Americans should demand that all U.S. tax dollars supporting UNESCO's NIEO based education and social science programs be cut off. The United States should withhold its financial support of these programs until all vestiges of the anti-Western, NIEO policy and its social welfare state schemes are eliminated.
The U.S. should pursue this policy toward similar NIEO based programs in other UNESCO sectors-including Culture and Communic a tion and Informatics--and should encourage its Western allies to follow suit. By so doing, the United States and the West will demonstrate that they are being more faithful to the UNESCO charter and dream than are Mvl'Bow and his UNESCO secretariat.
Thomas G. Gulick Policy Analyst