Seventy-four years have elapsed since the founding of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
It was founded on November 16, 1945 for the purpose of contributing to global peace and security by strengthening international cooperation in such sectors as education, science, culture and information. As a specialized organization of the UN, it plays an important role in achieving prosperity and development common to mankind.
Its efforts to build a peaceful and civilized world have won active support and warm welcome of the world progressive peoples.
The DPRK joined the UNESCO on October 18, Juche 63 (1974). Over the past 45 years it has proactively participated in the activities of the UNESCO to eliminate all forms of social evils and inequality around the world and build an affluent, civilized and prosperous world.
It has signed several conventions adopted by the UNESCO, including the Convention concerning the Protection of World Culture and Natural Heritage. The UNESCO inscribed the Korean folk song “Arirang” in 2014, kimchi-making custom in 2015 and ssirum (Korean wrestling) in 2018 on the typical intangible cultural heritage list of mankind, the Koguryo tombs in 2004 and the historical remains in the Kaesong area in 2013 on the world cultural heritage list, and registered Muyedobothongji (Illustrated manual of martial arts which systematized the traditional martial arts of the Korean nation in a comprehensive way) to the memory of the World Register in 2017. As a result, it has contributed to enriching the storehouse of human civilization.
Mts Paektu, Kuwol, Myohyang, Chilbo and Kumgang, which belong to the six celebrated mountains in Korea, have been registered as the world biosphere sanctuary designated by the UNESCO.
Regarding education as a patriotic undertaking of everlasting significance for achieving prosperity of the country and the nation, the DPRK has made steady efforts to raise the level of education to the world standard.
The country completely abolished illiteracy in a short period of time after its liberation (August 1945) by launching an anti-illiteracy campaign in spite of its difficult conditions. During the Fatherland Liberation War (June 1950-July 1953) it recalled student-soldiers fighting in the front to ensure that they kept studying at universities and took such epochal measures as setting up a factory college.
The DPRK government enforced the universal compulsory primary and secondary education respectively in 1956 and 1958, the universal 9-year compulsory technical education in 1967, and the universal 11-year compulsory education in 1972 for the first time in the world. From 2014, it started the 12-year compulsory education and thus provided an institutional environment for bringing up all the people to be perfect social beings who are knowledgeable, morally sound and physically strong.
It advanced a line of bringing about a radical turn in education in the new century and proactively promoted the work to improve the quality of education, put education on an IT footing and improve the conditions and environment for education while arousing social interest in this work. The 14th National Conference of Teachers held in September this year served as an epoch-making event in developing the overall educational level of the country.
Regarding talented personnel and science and technology as the strategic sources of socialist construction, it set a goal of making all the people well-versed in science and technology and putting the country’s science and technology on the cutting-edge level of the world. It has increased State investment in science and technology sector and established the climate of prioritizing science and technology throughout the country to ensure that science and technology play the role of engine in building a socialist power. The science and technology sector has produced many valuable findings conducive to the promotion of cutting-edge industry and revitalization of the national economy, with the result that the national power has been built up and big strides have been witnessed in improving the people’s living standards.
The masses of the people are the creators and enjoyers of socialist culture and the art, and everything in the country serves them.
The work of preserving the valuable mental and material heritage created by the ancestors and unearthing them in larger numbers so as to enrich the storehouse of the nation’s cultural heritage and inherit and develop them properly is conducted as a campaign embracing the whole country and all the people. Polices, lines and regulations on preserving the nation’s cultural heritage are steadily supplemented and updated.
The DPRK, as a member nation of the UNESCO, will creditably perform the commitments and role it has assumed before the international community and positively develop its good neighbourly, friendly and cooperative relations with the progressive countries around the world under the ideals of independence, peace and friendship.