In the 1960s great importance was attached in international discussions to the role played by the media in a country's development. The Second Vatican Council also strengthened the awareness within the Catholic Church of the importance of communications as shown in its Decree on the Means of Social Communications "Inter Mirifica" (1963). Subsequently, pastoral and socially oriented media initiatives grew rapidly around the world, and so did the need of the European donor agencies for professional advice as they were asked to support these media projects.
The Catholic Media Council (CAMECO) was founded on June 16th 1969 by the international Catholic media organisations UCIP (Press), OCIC (Film and Audiovisuals), UNDA (Broadcasting) - now SIGNIS (The World Catholic Association for Communication) - and the German Catholic Bishops' Conference. The office opened in 1970. According to the statutes CAMECO's aim is "the promotion of the work of the Catholic Church in the field of social communications in developing countries, in particular through advice, planning and assistance in education and further studies".Although the initiative started in Germany, CAMECO's services were soon being used by donor organisations from other European countries and North America, including those working in the field of social development as well as those oriented towards pas-toral activities.