At a meeting in Paris last month 17 organizations representing students across the globe took part in an official preparatory meeting for the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education to be held in July. Recognizing that student rights are being violated in institutions around the world, the students' groups at the meeting called on UNESCO to establish a global ombudsman's office to tackle breaches of their rights.
Comment: This would seem to be a role for which there is no obvious alternative to UNESCO, but such a role would engage the Organization in controversial confrontations with governments of member states, and would presumably require a substantial commitment of the Organization's resources. Perhaps the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO should consider the costs and benefits of such a role for UNESCO in order to advise the State Department. JAD
Ethiopian policemen look at students demonstrating at a campus of the Addis Ababa university, Ethiopia AFP photo, 6/7/05) via Fettan Archives