July 7, 1947 – Constituent Assembly
All-Union Society for the dissemination of political and scientific knowledge

On July 7, 1947 the general meeting of the founding members and full members of the All-Union Society for the Dissemination of Political and Scientific Knowledge took place in the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. 930 members, including 578 people from 15 Union republics took part in the Society. On July 9, after discussions, the Society’s Charter was adopted, and its Board and Auditing Committee were elected.

At the opening of the constituent assembly the chairman of the organizing committee, academician S. I. Vavilov, president of the USSR Academy of Sciences, made an introductory speech. He said, in particular: “Science is taught, knowledge is transferred from one person to another – this is the special meaning of the given Russian word… Our Society should be a conductor and intermediary of real, high, advanced scientific knowledge from specialists to the people… We hope that all advanced scientific intelligentsia of the Soviet Union will be in the ranks of our Society.”


On July 10, 1947 the Plenum of the Board of the All-Union Society “Znanie” elected: S.I. Vavilov, Academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences, a world famous scientist, Chairman of the Board; M.B. Mitin, Academician I.I. Artobolevsky, Professors V.I. Dokukin and I.V. Zubov were elected First Vice-President of the Board. Academician E. S. Varga, Major-General M. R. Galaktionov, corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences E. A. Korovin, Academician I. I. Mints, Professor M. V. Nechkina, Academicians A. I. Oparin and E. A. Chudakov became members of the Presidium. The names of the first leaders of the “Znanie” society were widely known in the country and spoke of the importance given to the society for the dissemination of knowledge. Moreover, the creation of the All-Union Society “Znanie” meant the revival of the tradition of enlightenment among the people, which was characteristic of eminent scientists and cultural figures in Russia in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

November 4, 1991 – XI Congress of the All-Union Znanie Society
Creation of the International Association “Znanie” 

The turbulent political events of the spring, summer and autumn of 1991 raised a new question about the fate of the All-Union Society “Znanie”. The proclamation of the sovereignty of the RSFSR, the withdrawal from the Soviet Union of Lithuania, then Latvia and Estonia, necessitated a decision on the future of the All-Union Society “Znanie”. For this purpose the XI extraordinary congress was convened in early November 1991.

On November 4, 1991 after heated discussion the XI Congress decided, in the interests of preserving the traditional ties of the intellectuals of the sovereign republics, to transform the All-Union Society “Knowledge” into the International Association “Knowledge” (MA “Knowledge”), and the Congress itself – into its constituent congress. It adopted the constituent treaty of the International Association “Znanie”, which was signed by the same heads of the “Znanie” societies of all the Union republics (except for Lithuania). Vice-President of the USSR Academy of Sciences, academician K.V. Frolov was elected president of the Association.

The Congress approved an amended Charter of the Association, which stipulated that the International Association “Knowledge” is a voluntary non-political public association (union) of international, national and other non-governmental organizations, established for dissemination of scientific knowledge, contacts among scientists and specialists, creating conditions for international exchange of information and intellectual products. The Congress and Congress determined that the All-Union Society “Znanie” remains the legal predecessor of the International Association “Znanie”.


June 29, 1995 – III Congress of the International Association “Knowledge” – election of Efim Mikhailovich Malitikov, Academician, as the President of MA Znanie

The III Congress of the International Asssociation “Znanie” made decisions which significantly influenced further development of the organization. At the request of academician K.V. Frolov, the Congress relieved him of his duties as president. The Congress elected academician Efim Mikhailovich Malitikov as a new president of MA Znanie. He boosted the activity of the Association, helped to restore its international prestige and strengthen ties with reputable international organizations.

Thanks to the active work of Efim Mikhailovich Malitikov International Association “Znanie” took part in the World Congress on Adult Education, held under the auspices of UNESCO in Hamburg, the General Assembly of the European Association for the Education of Adults in Copenhagen and Finland, a meeting of the member organizations of the European Association for the Education of Adults, devoted to cooperation with the Eastern European countries in Florence, the International Seminar on the use of telecommunications in education for adults At these conferences, seminars, an international forum in Moscow, the president of the International Association for the Education of Adults gave lectures and speeches.

In addition, the President of the Association participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos, meetings of the Club of Rome, the Executive Committee of the International Vienna Council, the CIS Council of Heads of State and Council of Heads of Government, the International Council for Adult Education in Manila, the UN General Assembly – “Millennium Summit”.

The growing international authority and recognition of the International Association “Knowledge” is evidenced by the fact that in 2000 it received even higher status in the UN ECOSOC. Now the Association has the highest “general” consultative status in the UN ECOSOC. In addition, the International Association “Znanie” was granted the status of leading organization of UN ECOSOC for all the non-governmental organizations of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth.

The Association received the right to accredit its representatives at the UN Headquarters in New York, Vienna and Geneva.

Since his election as President of the Association, Academician E.M. Malitikov has developed a new strategy for the activities of the International Association “Knowledge” based on a profound analysis of the new era in the development of world civilization.



7 July 2007 marked the 60th anniversary of the All-Union Society “Znanie”, the successor of which is the International Association “Znanie
of which is the International Association Znanie

The International Association “Knowledge”, continuing the annals of the All-Union Society “Knowledge”, provides continuity of the ideas of public education, rich experience of disseminating knowledge, the best traditions of education.

Today MA “Znanie” unites republican, territorial, regional, city and district societies “Znanie” of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Tajikistan, Ukraine, the largest educational and enlightening organizations and associations of the Russian Federation.

As one of the world’s most authoritative non-governmental organizations in the field of dissemination of knowledge, MA Znanie today is an international alliance of NGOs, bringing together about 30 NGOs all over the world. MA Znanie has General Consultative Status with UNIDO ECOSOC and the UN Department of Public Information. The activity of the International Association “Knowledge” and its member-organizations in different countries focuses on the popularization and dissemination of humanitarian and technical knowledge, participation in major international and regional conferences and seminars, new technologies of knowledge dissemination.

MA “Znanie” actively cooperates with reputable international organizations, cultural and educational centers of different states.