Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards
NINTH ITEM ON THE AGENDA
UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of
Higher-Education Teaching Personnel, 1997: Monitoring
1. At its 274th Session (March 1999), the Governing Body took note of the information contained in the Committee's report on progress made in consultation with UNESCO to determine final positions on the feasibility of an extended mandate for the Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (CEART), so as to permit its monitoring of the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel, 1997. The Governing Body adopted the recommendation of the Committee to invite the Director-General to complete consultations with the Director-General of UNESCO with a view to submitting a paper on this possibility at its present 276th Session.
2. In parallel with the comprehensive UNESCO review of the legal and financial issues associated with the proposed extension, the Office undertook internal consultations on these issues between January and May 1999. As a result, the Office concluded that:
3. This position was made known to UNESCO in an exchange of correspondence and in consultations held in Paris with programme and legal adviser officials during May and June 1999, leading to the final agreement on a draft revised text of the CEART mandate and its accompanying methods of work, which is appended to the present document.(1)
4. The principal change concerns the insertion of references to the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, 1997 in the paragraphs concerning the mandate, composition and organization of work. In addition, the revised text incorporates provisions concerning the sources of reports and information to allow the Joint Committee to carry out its monitoring role in the light of changes designed to increase its effectiveness which have been recommended in its reports presented to and approved by the Governing Body and the Executive Board of UNESCO since the original mandate and methodology was first revised in 1991.(2) These include procedures concerning the receivability, analysis and reporting of communications received from teachers' organizations that are considered to be allegations of non-observance of the Recommendation's provisions, bearing in mind that the role of the Joint Committee is not judicial in relation to non-binding international instruments, but rather to monitor difficulties and, where possible, to assist governments, and employers' and teachers' organizations, to adopt measures to enhance the status of the teaching profession.
5. The revision does not include provision for an increase in the composition of the Joint Committee at present. The Office has proposed, and UNESCO has agreed, that the present number of experts (12), their geographical and gender distribution and areas of specialization are sufficient to adequately assume the new responsibilities if so decided by the Governing Body and the Executive Board. It is preferred to concentrate the limited additional resources available to both organizations on preparatory work which would enable the Joint Committee to effectively carry out an extended mandate. There is an understanding with the secretariat of UNESCO to review the outcome of the Joint Committee's first experience with an extended mandate, and on that basis to recommend an increase in its membership should this prove advisable and financially feasible.
6. At its 157th Session (October 1999), the Executive Board of UNESCO will examine a document(3) proposing the extension of the mandate of the Joint Committee to cover the 1997 Recommendation on the same basis as that indicated in the attachment. If the Executive Board approves the recommendation before it, the matter will be presented for decision by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 30th Session (November 1999). If a favourable decision is made by both organizations in November, the Joint Committee will be called upon to undertake the first examination of its new task at its Seventh Session, which is to be hosted by the ILO in September 2000.
7. In the event that the mandate of the Joint Committee is revised and extended as proposed, its name will be changed to reflect its new responsibilities following the appropriate consultations with UNESCO.
8. The Committee on Legal Issues and International Labour Standards may wish to recommend that the Governing Body:
Geneva, 11 October 1999.
Point for decision: Paragraph 8.
1. Draft Revised Mandate and Methods of Work of the Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee of Experts [on the Status of Teachers].
2. CEART/SP/1991/12, CEART/VI/1994/12, CEART/SP/1997/13.
Revised Mandate of the Joint ILO/UNESCO
Committee of Experts on the Application of the
Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers
Mandate of the Joint Committee
The mandate of the Joint Committee is:
1. In accordance with established procedures, to examine:
(a) the reports from governments on the application of the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, 1966 and the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, 1997;
(b) studies and reports of ILO and UNESCO on specific items of the 1966 and 1997 Recommendations and on activities undertaken to promote knowledge and a better application of their provisions in areas requested by the Joint Committee, including reports of national, subregional and regional seminars, symposia and workshops;
(c) reports by national organisations representing teachers and their employers, and similar international non-governmental organisations enjoying either observer status with ILO or maintaining formal relations with UNESCO, and reports or other sources of information of intergovernmental organisations concerned with education in relation to the application of the 1966 and 1997 Recommendations.
These studies and reports, or where appropriate, a summary of the relevant information, are prepared at the initiative of the Joint Committee.
2. To report on the application of the 1966 and 1997 Recommendations on the basis of the examination of the reports and studies referred to above in paragraph 1(a), (b) and (c) to the competent bodies of ILO and UNESCO with a view to such separate but parallel action as these organs deem appropriate.
3. To recommend to the competent bodies of ILO and UNESCO initiatives to promote better understanding and implementation of both the 1966 and 1997 Recommendations.
Composition and terms of office
4. The Joint Committee is composed of 12 independent experts, designated and acting in their personal capacity, of whom six are nominated by ILO and six by UNESCO. They are selected on the basis of their competence in the main fields covered by the 1966 and 1997 Recommendations and their knowledge of the problems that may arise in their application. The members are drawn from all geographical regions, with due consideration to differences in educational and socio-economic systems, and as far as possible, equitable distribution between men and women. No two members may be designated from the same country. The members of the Joint Committee serve without honoraria; travel and per diem allowances for attendance at sessions are financed by the two organisations.
5. The initial term of office for members is six years, or until the end of the scheduled mandate for those members appointed on an interim basis as set out below. After that, renewal for one or more full terms of office is possible on decision of the competent body of the appointing organisation. ILO or UNESCO shall appoint a new member to the Joint Committee at any time if one of its members provides notice that he/she is unable to continue serving on the Joint Committee for personal or professional reasons, if a change in the professional status of the member precludes continuation by virtue of the criteria for appointment set out above, or at any time if the appointing organisation determines that replacements are needed to ensure renewal of the membership of the Joint Committee. This new appointment will be for the remaining period of the mandate of the outgoing member of the Joint Committee.
Organisation of the work of the Joint Committee
6. Date and place of sessions. The Joint Committee holds its sessions every three years, at a date and place and for a period determined by the Governing Body of the ILO and the Executive Board of UNESCO.
7. Officers of the Committee. At every session the Joint Committee elects a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and one or more rapporteurs, who shall remain in office until the following session.
8. Agenda. A draft agenda of each session is proposed by ILO and UNESCO taking particular account of the recommendations of the previous session of the Committee.
9. Working sessions. The Joint Committee meets in closed sessions. Its discussions are confidential. The Joint Committee may decide to suspend its working sessions for the purpose of holding information sessions to hear the views of interested organisations on matters relating directly to the 1966 and 1997 Recommendations.
10. Documents. The documents for the Joint Committee are:
(a) Preparatory documents for initial discussion by the Joint Committee. These are confidential unless otherwise determined by the secretariat of the Joint Committee in consultation with the Chairperson or, in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairperson.
(b) Working documents. Except where otherwise determined in the manner stipulated in 9(a), these are not confidential and comprise documents, reports and studies prepared for it by the two organisations, either jointly or separately, as appropriate. These are based on information supplied by governments, by national organisations representing teachers and their employers, by international non-governmental organisations enjoying either observer status with the ILO or maintaining official relations with UNESCO, by intergovernmental organisations concerned with education, and other documents in the public domain, as well as information supplied by the ILO and UNESCO.
11. Additional sources of information. The Joint Committee has recognized the need to secure information from interested parties in education, including representative organisations of teachers, on topics of concern to them and which fall within the limits of the Joint Committee's mandate. It will therefore receive such additional contributions as would serve to enhance both broader contacts with the educational community and the capacity of the Joint Committee to deal with substantive questions fairly and objectively. At the same time, due regard to the need to safeguard the independence, impartiality and objectivity of its deliberations will be maintained. Such contributions should be in writing, and where they relate to any other body should be communicated to such body for its observations. In this way, it will be possible to encourage a full and open dialogue between all the parties concerned by facilitating equal opportunity for making known their views and comments on matters suggested for serious consideration by the Joint Committee.
12. Examination of agenda items. In view of the increasing complexity of the issues before it, and the need to apply to the fullest the expertise of its members, the Joint Committee may decide to assign to one or more of its members the initial responsibility for a particular subject or section of the 1966 or 1997 Recommendations. On the basis of documents prepared by the secretariat of the Joint Committee and communicated to the members prior to the session of the Joint Committee, the relevant member or members will examine the available information and, where appropriate, submit draft conclusions to the Joint Committee as a whole. In doing so, a member may, if necessary, also request additional information, as mentioned in paragraph 11, through and in agreement with the joint secretariat. Such requests should be sent early enough to ensure that the procedure defined in that paragraph is respected (i.e. a written reply, and, when authorities or organisations are mentioned, communication of the reply to them for their observation).
13. Working parties. To facilitate the smooth functioning of its sessions, the Joint Committee may establish working parties or subcommittees composed of two or more of its members to consider or act in an advisory capacity in relation to special items such as studies on particular aspects of either of the Recommendations, allegations concerning non-application of part or all of the 1966 or 1997 Recommendations' provisions, means of improving knowledge and application of the Recommendations or changes in its working methods. The working parties shall submit their draft findings and proposals for consideration to the Joint Committee as a whole.
14. Allegations. Neither the 1966 Recommendation nor the 1997 Recommendation is a legally binding instrument, and the role of the Joint Committee is not judicial. Nevertheless, an important function of the Joint Committee is the consideration of information on problems associated with the application of the 1966 or 1997 Recommendations, and the encouragement of governments, employers' and teachers' organisations to adopt measures which would enhance the status of the teaching profession. The Joint Committee will continue the practice applied since its second ordinary session in 1970 in respect of the 1966 Recommendation, and endorsed by the governing bodies of the ILO and UNESCO, whereby national and international teachers' organisations may submit to it communications concerning the non-application of the provisions of the 1966 Recommendation, as well as those of the 1997 Recommendation, in a given country.
15. To be receivable, any allegation must be related to the provisions of either Recommendation, must emanate from a national or teachers' organisation and must not fall within the competence of other bodies of ILO and UNESCO established to monitor conventions or other international instruments.
16. On receipt of any communication that it considers to concern an allegation and is considered within its competence as indicated in paragraph 15, the secretariat of the Joint Committee shall request additional information of the organisation making the allegation if requested by the Joint Committee's working party on allegations. The original communication and any supplementary information shall be referred to the government of the country in question for its comments within a period of time specified by the Joint Committee. Such comments shall in turn be submitted to the organisation(s) making the allegation for additional observations, and these in turn shall be submitted to the government for its final remarks, if any. In the event that a government which has been requested to make observations on an allegation submitted by a teachers' organisation fails to respond within a reasonable time following the original communication and a reminder, the allegation may be submitted to the Joint Committee with a note that the Government has failed to respond.
17. The original communication and all observations of the parties shall then be submitted to the Joint Committee for examination at its next session. Where appropriate, information related to its consideration of allegations shall be sought from sources that are available in accordance with its mandate. The Joint Committee's views shall in turn be published as part of its report.
18. Submission of the report. The Joint Committee's reports shall be submitted to the Governing Body of the ILO, with a request that the reports be transmitted to the Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendation of the International Labour Conference, and to the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations of the Executive Board of UNESCO, for transmission to the General Conference.
19. Interim reports. In accordance with previous decisions of the Governing Body of the ILO and the Executive Board of UNESCO,(2) in the event that the final draft of a report on an allegation which has been received since the end of the last session is prepared more than one year prior to the next scheduled meeting of the full Joint Committee, the working party of the Joint Committee which has prepared the report is authorized to transmit it, as the report of the Joint Committee, for consideration by the Governing Body of the ILO and the Executive Board of UNESCO, provided that it has been approved by the Joint Committee.
1. Text in bold shows changes from the version approved by the Governing Body in 1992 (GB.252/SC/2/2), including those reported to the Governing Body in 1995 (GB.262/LILS/9) and 1998 (GB.271/LILS/8).
2. In accordance with the 154EX/Decision 4.4, paragraph 5 of UNESCO, and GB.271/11/2, paragraph 56 of the ILO.