UNESCO clubs are associations of people of all ages, all socio-professional categories who share the ideals of UNESCO, strive to promote it and participate in the activities of the international organization, carrying out activities directly related to the activities of UNESCO.
As of June 11, 2020, there are 155 UNESCO clubs in the Republic of Kazakhstan, which are united in the Public Association “Kazakhstan National Federation of UNESCO Clubs”.
Being a manifestation of enthusiasm and idealism of the peoples of some countries, the movement of UNESCO Clubs arose spontaneously, immediately after the creation of the Organization, as evidenced by the example of Japan, where Clubs began to emerge among the ruins after the war even before the country became a member of WESCO: the first UNESCO Club (in Japan and around the world), actually, was established in Sendai on 19 July 1947, and then on 18 September of the same year, there was a Club in Kyoto. Just a few months after the founding of UNESCO, the world thus witnessed the emergence of a popular movement in support of the new organization for world peace, with universities taking the lead. In December 1947, a “UNESCO Group” was established in the United States of America at the Steel Center in Denver (Colorado).
There were already more than a hundred associations of this kind, mainly in Japan and France, when, on 4 November 1949, Mr. Heine Torres Baudet – then Director-General of UNESCO-called for the establishment of UNESCO Clubs in secondary schools and universities in a speech delivered at the International Centre for Pedagogical Research in Sevres, France, on the occasion of the third anniversary of the founding of UNESCO.
As a result of this appeal, the UNESCO Club movement gradually spread throughout the world, and in 1992 there were more than 3,800 Clubs spread across more than 100 countries in all regions: Africa, 5 Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific, the Arab States, Europe and North America, and their number is constantly increasing.
The First World Congress of Clubs, convened at UNESCO Headquarters in April 1978, unanimously approved the principle of creating a “World Federation of UNESCO Associations and Clubs”. It was officially approved in July 1981 after the end of the Second World Congress, this time held at the Headquarters, which was attended by representatives of UNESCO Clubs and Associations from about 60 countries. The general secretariat of the World Federation is located in Paris; Its Executive Board consists of 10 members, two from each major geographical region from among those regions that are divided into UNESCO.
At its second Congress, held in accordance with its charter in Spain in 1987, the Federation adopted the name “World Federation of UNESCO Associations, Centers and Clubs” (WFACU). The World Federation represents the movement of UNESCO associations, centers and Clubs around the world and promotes the cause of peace in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
In this regard, the Federation plays a general coordinating role and promotes active cooperation between national federations through interregional, regional and sub-regional programmes.
People’s horizons are expanding every day. In place of the man of yesterday, who is occupied only with the affairs of his village, his city, or his country, comes the modern man, whose interests go far beyond national borders. Thanks to the democratization of vehicles, thanks to the concepts and ideas disseminated by the media, the twentieth-century man lives by the desire to learn more about foreign states or their various forms of thinking and expression. This curiosity is accompanied by an awareness of the many problems and hotbeds of tension that are noted at the international level, as well as the need to resolve them in a spirit of mutual understanding, mutual trust and respect.
It is to those who are motivated by this curiosity, who seek to satisfy it in an effort to understand these problems and work to solve them in a spirit of solidarity, that the UNESCO Clubs turn.
In developing countries, particularly emerging countries, which recently became a sovereign, involved a very short time in the international arena, it is important to form a national consciousness, taking into account the obligations that are imposed on each in the process of development, raises the need to join efforts to build a state that is well grounded in socio-cultural values that make up his wealth and identity.
It is to those who wish to contribute to this revolution of minds that the UNESCO Clubs turn.
Objectives of UNESCO Clubs are the goals of the Organization, which stated in its Charter: to promote peace and security through increased cooperation among Nations in the field of education, science and culture in order to ensure universal respect for justice, the rule of law and human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, to all people without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.
Each Club has its own characteristics, but they all have common features: they are a meeting place for people who want to engage in research and very different activities together (see “What activities can UNESCO Clubs conduct”) in the spirit of 6 full trust and tolerance without any discrimination, not only on the basis of gender, nationality, race, religion, but also social environment, political beliefs. They are the crossroads where these men and women of good will meet, who think of world peace in terms of respect for human rights, development and cooperation.
It can be said that the UNESCO Club is a center for continuing education: it plays a primary educational role for its members, because in addition to simply acquiring knowledge, which is the business of many other associations, the Club aims to encourage its members to analyze and work in the perspective of intellectual receptivity and understanding of others, those who are near or far away.
Anyone who wants to create a UNESCO Club should contact the National Commission for UNESCO in their country or the National Association/Federation of UNESCO Clubs. In the Republic of Kazakhstan, such a structure is the public association “Kazakhstan National Federation of UNESCO Clubs”.
The UNESCO club can be organized if there are five or more people in the club, of which at least three must be adults.
* A statement of intent to establish a UNESCO club is submitted to the Board of KazFUCA in the name of the President of KazFUCA with the following documents attached:
– a copy of the documents regulating the activities of the candidate association (if it already exists) –
– information about the work of the candidate association for the previous period;
– draft action plan of the UNESCO Club for the next 12 months;
– list of members of the association;
– Full name of the club management with full contact information. (see the regulations on the UNESCO Club of Kazakhstan).
Using the UNESCO name, Clubs “subscribe” to the principles underlying the Organization’s activities. However, although UNESCO and
allows Clubs to use their name, with the consent of the National Commissions for UNESCO or National Federations Clubs in the country, it does not create formal links between Clubs and UNESCO, as their activities meet National Commission and the National Associations/federations, who are also responsible for all activities in the country, having the word in the title “UNESCO”. UNESCO clubs are financially and legally autonomous.
Many National Federations/Associations and Clubs maintain relations with UNESCO, mainly within the UNESCO Clubs and New Partners Branch, which is part of the External Relations and Cooperation Sector, as well as with the Programme Department at UNESCO headquarters. In addition, they are increasingly turning to regional offices and to UNESCO consultants and attaches in different parts of the world. Such cooperation has proved to be very effective, as the staff of UNESCO offices can help the Clubs in their activities, can also assist in the areas in which the Organization specializes or in holding meetings and launching projects.