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Cablegate: Usunesco - Adequate Mission Staffing

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Lucia A Keegan 03/12/2007 12:14:37 PM From DB/Inbox: Lucia A Keegan

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS PARIS 00915

SIPDIS
cxparis:
ACTION: UNESCO
INFO: ECON AMBU AMB AMBO DCM SCI POL

DISSEMINATION: UNESCOX
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: AMB:LVOLIVER
DRAFTED: DCM:AKOSS
CLEARED: NONE

VZCZCFRI998
OO RUEHC
DE RUEHFR #0915 0681359
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091359Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5490

UNCLAS PARIS 000915

SIPDIS

FROM USMISSION UNESCO PARIS

FOR: IO A/S SILVERBERG AND DG STAPLES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: APER UNESCO
SUBJECT: USUNESCO - ADEQUATE MISSION STAFFING

1. I am very concerned about this mission's continuing ability to
support the Secretary's program of transformational diplomacy after
the departure this fall of our remaining reporting officer, Nancy
Cooper. At that point the only Foreign Service Officers on my staff
will be the DCM and the PAO. When the U.S. Mission to UNESCO was
established, we were assigned two reporting officers. Given the
large number of international instruments negotiated at and
administered by UNESCO, we have already had to sacrifice our
political officer position to fill the vital position of legal
adviser.

2. Ms. Cooper, the mission science officer, is deeply engaged in
transformational diplomacy. She is working with UNESCO's science
sector to strengthen developing countries' ability to build local
capacity in basic science, engineering, disaster prevention, water
management and the expansion of the international tsunami warning
system to all the world's oceans. Her portfolio also includes
tracking a massive reorganization of UNESCO's two science sectors so
that they can better serve the transformational needs of developing
countries. Not long ago I added the monitoring of UNESCO's high
profile and increasingly politicized World Heritage Center to
Nancy's already considerable burden. But Nancy is doing much more
than science and the World Heritage Center; she is in effect doing
most of our political reporting and is supporting one of IO's most
important transformational diplomacy policy approaches of "promoting
administrative and management reforms that ensure good stewardship
of precious resources." As our sole remaining reporting officer,
Nancy covers such vital issues as UN reform and management as well
as the UNESCO budget. I am concerned that a detailee from another
agency will be focused on either the science portfolio or the World
Heritage portfolio. However, the biggest problem is we would face
not having another FSO on staff who understands the culture of the
Department, knows how to do political reporting, and is experienced
in diplomacy. This would dramatically reduce my mission's ability
to carry out transformational diplomacy.

3. I am aware of the extraordinary pressures on the Foreign Service
and the sacrifices being made by so many serving in difficult posts.
I understand and support the need for the GPR, but I also feel we
must disaggregate this position from its physical location in Paris.
Frankly speaking, IO missions are mostly located in nice locations
like Paris and Geneva, but IO's work, wherever it is carried out, is
vital to U.S. interests and a crucial part of transformational
diplomacy. Our vigorous presence at UNESCO allows us to leverage
the organization's resources to tackle serious global issues such as
illiteracy, while still curbing UNESCO's impulses to pursue policies
that harm U.S. interests. UNESCO also supports the GWOT by carrying
out education projects in places where forces hostile to the United
States are trying to brainwash children and preventing direct USG
engagement with schools. Just this week UNESCO announced a 3.4
million dollars education project with the Pakistani government
funded by USAID. We have now been re-engaged with UNESCO for over
three years, and if we expect positive results from that
re-engagement we must commit the human resources necessary. For
this reason, I request that IO and HR revisit the decision to
eliminate this Mission's remaining reporting officer position.
Oliver

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