Cablegate: Unesco - Ec Participation in Cultural
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UNCLAS PARIS 002231
FROM USMISSION UNESCO PARIS
FOR IO/T BOOTH/COWLEY, L/EUR OLSON, L/UNA OSBORN, GENEVA FOR
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL ETRD UNESCO
SUBJECT: UNESCO - EC PARTICIPATION IN CULTURAL
DIVERSITY NEGOTIATIONS (CONTINUED)
Ref: Paris 01857
1. This is an action request. See para. 5.
2. As I reported Reftel, the European Union members of
UNESCO continue their push to have the European Commission
sit at the table during the next round of cultural diversity
(CD) negotiations at UNESCO in June alongside other member
states. Just this morning we received notification that the
EU members of the Executive Board have tabled a resolution
on this topic for the upcoming board meeting that would
allow the EC to sit behind its own placard and speak at the
same time as member states during the negotiations. These
rights would not include a vote. The EU presidency has
convened an information meeting for member states at UNESCO
on April 7 to discuss their resolution.
3. At the same time, the EU is vigorously lobbying Executive
Board members. Sylvia Campbell, Jamaica's UNESCO
ambassador, told me she met recently with Luxembourg
Ambassador (and holder of the EU presidency at UNESCO),
Hubert Wurth. When Wurth asked why she opposed the EC's
expanded role, Ambassador Campbell explained that she felt
it would not be good for the organization but would change
her position if she received new instructions from her
capital. Last weekend, she told me that the EU has made a
demarche in Kingston, and she now has instructions to
support the Commission's expanded role.
4. Now that the EU members have tabled a resolution, this
issue will come to a head during the Executive Board that
begins April 19. We are still talking to other delegations,
but I sense the EU is picking off Executive Board members
one by one and that this time momentum may be heading in
their direction. I see three possible scenarios:
(1) Even if consensus is moving toward the EU's position,
we call for a vote (our instructions at the last Executive
(2) We abstain, neither joining consensus nor requesting a
vote (thus assuring continued collegiality but not voting
for the resolution).
(3) We work to craft language that makes absolutely clear
that EC participation in the CD negotiations will not set a
precedent for future meetings at UNESCO or other UN bodies
(not very likely given the number of precedents the EC has
cited in making their case to this point).
5. Action requested: Please provide guidance on this
question as soon as possible.