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Fifty years ago...


From WMO Bulletin 4 (2), April 1955

  • Second Congress

    Second Congress opened on 14 April in the Palais des Nations, which was the focus of the cover of that issue: The Palais, which was originally built for the League of Nations between 1931 and 1937, is now the headquarters of the European office of the United Nations. With additional accommodation constructed since 1948, the building also houses the headquarters of the World Health Organization, the UN Economic Commission for Europe and a few smaller UN Agencies.

    The first four years

    The opening article was an overview of the Organizations activities during its first four years of existence by the Acting Secretary-General, Dr G. Swoboda. 

    Since 1952, all six regional associations and eight technical commissions had held their first sessions and submitted a number of important recommendations to the Executive Committee for approval. The subjects dealt with in this manner included: introduction by 1 January 1955 of a new code for exchanging basic weather information; establishment of an international ice nomenclature; introduction of a scheme for the collection and transmission of weather reports from whaling ships; publication of an international list of selected and supplementary ships; adoption of an international barometer convention; comparsion of radiosondes; establishment of networks for radiation measurements; publication of aerological data; comparison of techniques for locating thunderstorms by radio direction finding (sferics); observing and reporting horizontal visibility; revision of the meteorology section of the Universal Decimal Classification; issue of the Guide to Meteorological Library Practice; publication of Technical Notes by the Secretariat; qualifications and training of meteorological personnel employed in the application of meteorology to aeronautics; aeronautical climatology. 

    On the basis of a plan developed by First Congress, the Executive Committee had established at its second session certain procedures to be followed by the Secretariat in preparing the Provisional Technical Regulations for submission to Second Congress. This work began with sorting out all the resolutions taken over from the former International Meteorological Organization, eliminating those which were out of date and assigning the remainder to the various technical commissions. These were used by the commissions as a basis for preparing draft technical regulations concerning their respective fields of application.

    The budget for the first financial period (1951-1955) was
     US$ 1 273 000.

    Until the end of February 1955, technical assistance in meteorology had been given to 14 countries in the form of 21 expert missions and seven fellowships. 

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