The National Commissions for UNESCO are national cooperating bodies set up by the Member States for the purpose of associating their governmental and non-governmental bodies with the work of the Organization. There are 195 National Commissions all around the world. Basic information on National Commissions for UNESCO can be found in UNESCO's Constitution and in the Charter of National Commissions for UNESCO. Please see Legal Texts on National Commissions for UNESCO
Today I copied the following brief letter to all 195 members of the National Commissions for UNESCO. This is only a first gesture, as I will now want to copy it to journalism departments and newspapers around the USA. Paso a paso, as the Mexicans say. Step by step.
Bradley R. Smith
PO Box 439016
San Ysidro CA 92143
Desk: 209 682 5327
Cell: 619 203 3151
17 September 2008
To: Abdul Waheed Khan
Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information
Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace
Dear Assistant Director-General:
The programs of the UNESCO Communication and Information (CI) Sector are rooted in UNESCO’s Constitution, which requires the Organization to promote the “free flow of ideas by word and image.”
How does your office reconcile this principal strategic objective of the CI Sector with the 26 January 2007 call by the UN General Assembly to all its 192 Member States to “reject any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event, either in full or in part, or any activities to this end”?
Does the CI Sector, of which you are Assistant Director-General, support “exceptions” regarding the free flow of ideas about certain historical events? That is, does your Sector hold that some historical questions should benefit from a free flow of ideas, while some should not?
In brief, is it to be understood that a “free flow of ideas” is meant for some, but not for all? I would very much appreciate any clarification from your office regarding this troublesome matter.
Bradley R. Smith
The Professional Challenge: To advance the UNESCO mandate to encourage
the free flow of ideas not only for those who represent influential
majorities, but for all.