From: Douglas Hodgson, Faculty of Law, University of Western Australia
THE HUMAN RIGHT TO EDUCATION (Ashgate, Dartmouth (1998))
Chapter 13: International Co-Operation and Development
Since its inception in 1945, the United Nations has recognised the necessity of "international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character"  The whole of Chapter IX of the United Nations Charter is devoted to "International Economic and Social Co-operation" with Article 55 thereof providing, inter alia, that the United Nations shall promote "international cultural and educational co-operation". U.N.E.S.C.O. has been at the forefront in the effort to realise Article 55. Article 1.2.(c) of its Constitution refers to U.N.E.S.C.O.’s role in diffusing knowledge "by encouraging co-operation among the nations in all branches of intellectual activity, including the international exchange of persons active in the fields of education, science and culture and the exchange of publications, objects of artistic and scientific interest and other materials". Article 1.2.(b) of its Constitution also obliges U.N.E.S.C.O. to collaborate with States in order to develop educational activities and to advance the ideal of equality of educational opportunity. International co-operation in the educational field has also been undertaken at the regional level. The purpose of the Inter-American Council for Education, Science, and Culture, as stated by Article 99 of the Charter of the Organization of American States, is "to promote friendly relations and mutual understanding between the peoples of the Americas through educational, scientific, and cultural co-operation and exchange between Member States … ". The Council’s duty in this regard is more clearly spelled out by Article 100. Pursuant to Article 100(f), the Council shall foster the exchange of professors, research workers, technicians, students and study materials, and encourage the conclusion of multilateral agreements on the progressive co-ordination of the curricula and on the validity and equivalence of degrees and certificates.
In furtherance of the aims stated in the U.N.E.S.C.O. Constitution, several international agreements have been concluded to facilitate the free flow of books, publications and educational, scientific and cultural materials between the Contracting States. The Agreement for Facilitating the International Circulation of Visual and Auditory Materials of an Educational. Scientific and Cultural Character of 15 July 1949 and the Agreement on the Importation of Educational. Scientific and Cultural Materials of 22 November 1950 essentially exempt the imported educational materials from customs duties, import restrictions and import licences. The United Nations General Assembly and the General Conference of U.N.E.S.C.O. have also been active in promoting the exchange of human and material resources between States. Principle 4 of the Declaration on the Promotion Among Youth of the Ideals of Peace, Mutual Respect and Understanding Between Peoples states that "[e]xchanges, travel, tourism, meetings, the study of foreign languages, [and] the twinning of towns and universities … should be encouraged and facilitated among young people of all countries … ". The General Conference of U.N.E.S.C.O. has devoted Part X of its Recommendation Concerning Education for International Understanding. Co-operation and Peace and Education Relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1974 to the subject of "International Co-operation". Principle 43 thereof calls on Member States to, inter alia, strengthen their programmes for the reception of foreign students, research workers, teachers and educators and to promote reciprocal visits by schoolchildren and student, teacher and textbook exchanges. Strengthening international solidarity in the educational field was a prominent item of the agenda of the World Conference on Education for All held in Jomtien, Thailand in March, 1990. Article 10(1) of the Conference’s World Declaration on Education for All proclaims that meeting basic learning needs requires international solidarity and acknowledges that all nations have valuable knowledge and experiences to share for designing effective educational policies and programmes.
The State duty to co-operate with other States in the educational field was placed on a quasi-legal footing by Article 15(4) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Article 15( 4) records the recognition by the States Parties of "the benefits to be derived from the encouragement and development of international contacts and co-operation in the scientific and cultural fields". The most recent and comprehensive formulation of the duty to co-operate internationally appears in Article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states:
States Parties shall promote and encourage international co-operation in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. In this regard. particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
Article 28(3) essentially transforms into a binding legal obligation Article 10(a) of the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers 1966 regarding co-operative projects, the exchange of research findings, teacher preparation and in-service training. Article 4 of the Convention also mentions that in regard to economic, social and cultural rights. States Parties shall undertake all appropriate measures to implement the rights recognised in the Convention "to the maximum of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation". Article 4 of the Convention is similar to Article 2(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which obliges States Parties to take steps, individually and through international co-operation, to the maximum of their available resources with a view to achieving progressively the full realisation of the rights recognised in the Covenant. According to Principle 26 of The Limburg Principles on the Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the phrase "its available resources" which appears in Article 2(1) of the I.C.E.S.C.R. refers to both the resources within a State and those available from the international community through international co-operation and assistance. This phrase has also been interpreted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as referring to the amount of resources available to the international community as a whole and that can be distributed through international co-operation and assistance. This suggests that the responsibility to provide basic education extends beyond that of individual States and that their economic and resource limitations may be overcome by joint efforts and a pooling of joint resources at the internationallevel.
International co-operation, through the transfer of information, knowledge and technology, is essential to the effective realisation of the right to education for children in the less developed countries. It has been repeatedly observed, moreover, that the right to education is an economic necessity upon which the development of these countries depends. The gap between educational facilities in industrialised countries and those in developing countries demands an active policy of academic co-operation which would assist in contributing to the implementation of the right to development.
The provision of education should be considered by all States as a long-term, high-priority investment because it develops individual human resources as an asset in the process of national development. As UNICEF has recognised, a society’s failure to invest in education will disable all other developmental efforts, whether it be the effort to increase agricultural production or the effort to reach people with new knowledge about child care. Educational expenditure ought to be regarded as an investment in human capital because, according to the World Bank, development will not occcur without education. World Bank studies consistently show that economic returns from education are higher than from most other kinds of investment. Education is therefore a cause as well as a consequence of economic development. The General Conference of U.N.E.S.C.O. has also acknowledged that education is an essential factor in a country’s economic growth and has called on States to include educational planning as an integral part of any comprehensive social programme undertaken to improve living conditions.
Latin American States were among the first to stress the importance of the link between education and the development of their peoples. Article 100(e) of the Charter of the Organization of American States obliges the Inter-American Council for Education, Science, and Culture to "[s]timulate and support scientific and technological education and research, especially when these relate to national development plans". Article 8 of the Central American Convention on the Unification of the Fundamental Norms of Education of 1962 states:
The signatory States recognize that funds allocated to education must be considered a capital investment. Therefore, in their general budgets they shall give priority to education, in order to accelerate the economic and social development of their peoples.
This theme was picked up at the International Conference on Human Rights held at Teheran in 1968. In its Resolution XII, the Conference invited U.N.E.S.C.O. to stimulate efforts for enhancing the contribution which literacy could make to economic and social development. On 11 December 1969, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Declaration on Social Progress and Development  which listed the eradication of illiteracy in Article 10(e) as one of the goals to be attained in the raising of the standards of living of all members of society. The United Nations General Assembly has more recently proclaimed in Article 8(1) of its Declaration on the Right to Development  of 4 December 1986 that the realisation of the right to development entails, inter alia, "equality of opportunity for all in their access to … education". Although Article 28(3) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child does not place development on a legal footing in the educational context, it does have positive implications for developing countries in so far as it succeeds in facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. The World Declaration on Education for All adopted by the 1990 World Conference on Education for All has reaffirmed that basic education is fundamental to the capacity of countries to achieve self