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Cablegate: Spanish Views On World Meteorological Organization

VZCZCXRO5997
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #0834 1241633
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041633Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2434
INFO RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0845
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS MADRID 000834

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/T (GUINNEVERE ROBERTS) AND EUR/WE; GENEVA
FOR USDEL TO THE WMO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV TPHY SP
SUBJECT: SPANISH VIEWS ON WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION
(WMO) CONFERENCE

REF: SECSTATE 47359

ESTHOFF made reftel points May 7 to MFA Deputy Director
General for International Technical Organizations Enrique
Yturriaga, urging Spain to support U.S. positions at the May
7-25 WMO Quadrennial Conference in Geneva. Yturriaga offered
the following comments keyed to the major areas outlined in
reftel nonpaper:

-- Getting Back to Basics -- Spain agrees with the U.S. that
the WMO should remain focused on current priorities and
should not expand into areas outside its core expertise.

-- Scientific/Technical Priorities -- Spain strongly
supports the U.S. emphasis on the importance of the WMO's
Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Program (DPM). Spain
does not have firm views on modeling, but notes that the EU
has successfully integrated its member states' weather
modeling outputs. Expanding this sort of cooperation into an
international ensemble model strikes Spain as logical and
useful.

--Convention Change -- While Spain sees some utility in the
German proposal to catalogue fields in which the WMO is
engaged, Spain agrees with U.S. concerns about the need to
ensure that the WMO does not waste resources or reduce
efficiencies by duplicating work already being carried out by
other UN organizations. Thus, Spain, like the U.S., has
concerns about the German proposal to expand the WMO's
purview. Yturriaga added that Spain supports the French
proposal to expand UNEP into the UN Environmental
Organization (UNEO). Spain thinks that it makes no sense to
try to expand the purview of both UNEP and the WMO.
Expanding the purview of one organization (UNEP to UNEO)
should imply limiting the purview of other related
organizations like the WMO. Yturriaga said there was no/no
consensus EU position on the German proposal. He thought
G-77 views might prove critical in determining the fate of
the German proposal.

-- World Climate Conference -- While giving no clear
indication as to whether Spain would support or oppose a
World Climate Conference, Yturriaga did stress that Spain
shares our concerns about not wasting money by duplicating
work already being carried out by other UN organizations.

-- Program and Budget -- Yturriaga indicated that this was
probably the greatest area of disagreement between Spain and
the U.S. Spain will not support a zero nominal growth budget
and instead backs a "slight" increase in WMO funding. Spain
believes the WMO is engaged in important work (he again cited
the DPM) and suggested that it was inconsistent for the U.S.
to urge funding of its key priorities while at the same time
pushing for a zero nominal growth budget.

-- Governance -- Yturriaga was unaware of concerns about
Member State access to WMO Executive Council documents and
indicated that the Swiss proposal to reform this governance
area appeared to make sense. He thought Spain would support
the Swiss initiative. He also said Spain would support the
U.S. idea to allow Member States to send observers to WMO
Executive Council sessions.

Aguirre

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