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Cablegate: France Offers Views On Fao, Unesco, Undp, Iaea and Wipo

VZCZCXRO0063
RR RUEHRN
DE RUEHFR #0674 1021444
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111444Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2554
INFO RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME 0010
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2839
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0636
RUCNDT/USUN NEW YORK

UNCLAS PARIS 000674

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO, EUR/WE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL FAO UNESCO UNDP IAEA WIPO FR
SUBJECT: FRANCE OFFERS VIEWS ON FAO, UNESCO, UNDP, IAEA AND WIPO

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (SBU) IO DAS Gerry Anderson met with MFA Deputy Director for
United Nations and International Organization Affairs Marc Giacomini
and several staffers April 10 for a tour d'horizon of a number of
current IO issues, including financing, reform and upcoming
elections at FAO, UNESCO, UNDP, IAEA and WIPO.

-------
WFP/FAO
-------

2. (SBU) France recognized that rising food prices have reached a
"boiling point", and Giacomini was curious if biofuels subsidies in
the U.S. might be aggravating the problem. Even though the EU's
financing system was not particularly flexible, France would largely
depend on it for its contribution to the WFP's special appeal.
France did not have the money to fund more than a "symbolic" effort
of its own. On FAO budget and reform issues, France largely shared
U.S. goals, but was concerned that freezing the budget in 2008 as
spur to institutional reform after the large increase in 2007 might
leave funding of the Immediate Action Plan short. It did not think
that current EU Commission discussions about bridging gaps through
project-based financing were fully formulated or had much chance of
working.

------
UNESCO
------

3. (SBU) On reports that President Sarkozy had promised to support
an Egyptian candidate for Director General-which Giacomini neither
confirmed nor denied-he said France had been "sensitized" to
concerns about the candidate's views by the U.S. and Israel, and had
communicated these to the Sarkozy administration. France agreed
that the resolution introduced by the Cubans (item 48) was
objectionable, and believed it would need extensive amendment to be
acceptable.

----
UNDP
----

4. (SBU) DAS Anderson explained U.S. concerns about the need for
better accountability though access to internal audits in order to
meet Congressional mandates, as well as the potential loss of 20
million dollars in funding if a solution could not be found. The
French said they did not approach this as an "ideological" issue,
but had concerns that multiple layers of audit and accountability
requirements could become a management challenge, and create the
potential for unauthorized disclosure if internal audits were shared
more widely.

----
IAEA
----

5. (SBU) France has not announced support for a candidate to
succeed El Baradei, and had received no indication that he planned
to run again. Amano from Japan was good on non-proliferation, and
came from a country that was an important player in civilian nuclear
energy. France was concerned however that India and the NAM would
be looking to support a developing country candidate. Perhaps
someone from Latin America could be identified who would fit the
bill?

----
WIPO
----

6. (SBU) France agreed broadly with the U.S. view that reform was
needed, but saw this largely as due to "circumstantial" issues that
would be relatively easy to fix. There were many good candidates and
the French were preparing for several possible rounds of voting.
They believed that the G77 would favor a developing world candidate,
and agreed with the U.S. that the challenge would be finding someone
who was committed to protection of intellectual property. The
Mexican candidate could present an interesting option in this case,
as he would probably be considered acceptable by the South.

7. (U) This cable was cleared by DAS Anderson.

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