All the directors had been convened for a meeting with the Director-General in Conference Room N° 2. We were told about the financial situation, the necessary cuts in the on-going budget and the inevitable restrictions that had to be imposed on every program. You could sense nervousness pervading the room. When the Director-General spoke of the necessity to cut down on missions, the temperature of room N°2 rose by several degrees.… Read More Kama Sutra and Bollywood
On D-Day, Nancy arrived. I took the day off from work and went to the airport with Brigitte and Françoise to fetch her. There was a lot of excitement in the air before the plane arrived. The three of us spoke at the same time. Nobody listened.… Read More Gay Paris with Nancy and Aunt Lily
Three thousand miles after leaving Paris we landed in dark, cold Leningrad. The flight being relatively short, Brigitte could not see why we had waited so long to come to Leningrad. ‘To think that before the age of the railroad,’ said studious Françoise, ‘the journey by coach from Paris took as much as six weeks!’ Aunt Lily informed us that nowadays the trip from Moscow to Vladivostok with the Trans-Siberian railway takes more than seven days. She had inquired at a Paris travel Office, but fortunately had not pursued the idea, remembering the train scenes from the film ‘Dr. Jivago.’… Read More The Battle of Leningrad
Inchaalah, Maalesh and Maktub.
Dust, confusion, noise, anarchy. I was in Cairo.
This must have been my sixth or seventh mission in Egypt. In spite of some minor inconveniences I loved being in Egypt. I found Egyptians hospitable, colorful, humane, amiable and delightfully amusing.… Read More Who Burnt the Library of Alexandria?
Our bus was caught in total traffic anarchy. Unperturbed, the Guide continued to talk with ardor, holding the microphone with one hand and gesticulating with the other.… Read More Viva Zapata!
My farewell party is the last and, therefore, the most recent event which took place during my life at Unesco. And yet, it is a most foggy and confused recollection. The latter part of the evening is especially blurred, even though the party keeps haunting my thoughts. It all happened as in a dream.… Read More The Farewell Party
Unesco, like the United Nations, was born in the aftermath of the Second World War. Its constitution was ratified on the 4th of November 1946 by the twenty Founding Member States who signed the solemn declaration: ” Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed…” The purpose of the Organization was defined as ” To contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture…” The number of Member States increased from 20 in 1946 to 184 in 1995.… Read More Unesco – sunny side up