The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt


HYDE PARK, Tuesday—The sniping that has been directed at UNESCO is at last coming out in the open. In Congress the other day a Senate committee attached a rider to the appropriations bill banning the use of funds by "any international agencies that directly or indirectly promote one-world government or world citizenship."

The committee did not refer to UNESCO openly but, of course, it is evident what it had in mind because of the campaign that has been made against UNESCO. Of all the specialized agencies of the United Nations this is one, through its facilities, that comes nearest to giving a chance to people to voice their opinions. In every member country there is set up a national committee to deal with questions that touch the lives of the people and in which people are interested.

Of course, a great many persons assumed that the U.N., by its mere existence, would achieve a peaceful world. As a matter of fact, anyone who had followed the stormy years of the League of Nations and had followed the efforts made by those who discussed the founding of the U.N. knows very well that the U.N. is only machinery created to help governments develop an atmosphere in the world in which we may be able to keep the peace. In order to do that peoples must get to know one another better. And I'm not speaking of governments or government commissions, but of the people themselves.

UNESCO is one of the most important agencies to help people achieve this knowledge.

The accusations against UNESCO is that it is international in character. But the U.N. is international—60 nations have joined together under a charter, which all signed to create this international organization.

This particular specialized agency—UNESCO—certainly makes mistakes, and many people in reviewing some of the projects undertaken feel these undertakings were not as well carried out as they should be. One of the main accusations against UNESCO is that it has introduced the idea of an international mind—one thinks not only of "my country" but of "my country in its relations to all other countries" of the world, and this is said to be frightening.

Of course, the attack on UNESCO is an attack on the U.N. But if we want to work for peace we must support both U.N. and UNESCO.

We also hear it said that this organization is tainted with communism and atheism. Yet, the Russians do not belong to it and the satellite nations that joined it before they were communized have mostly withdrawn or been inactive.

The various countries represented in UNESCO always have emphasized religious freedom and religion as an asset to international understanding. If we are to understand one another, as nations and as peoples, we must know something about all the cultures of the world. We must love our own country but we must respect the love other peoples have for their countries.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 2, 1952

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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