Cablegate: Unesco: Unesco: Need for Demarche On Eu

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.






E.O. 12958: N/A

RE: A)PARIS 2402, B) PARIS 2231, C) PARIS 01857, D) 2004
PARIS 8818, E) 2004 PARIS 7677

1. (SBU) I understand that there has been a lot of
discussion in Washington about the need to demarche UNESCO
Executive Board members on the EU's draft resolution on EC
participation in the cultural diversity negotiations. I
cannot emphasize strongly enough that we need to demarche
capitals on this issue as soon as possible.

2. (SBU) There are two issues at stake. The first is
covered by the draft resolution which will be taken up at
the executive board sometime in the next two weeks: EC
participation in the negotiations. The next round of
negotiations is scheduled for late May/early June; this
issue cannot be put off until the general conference in
October. The second issue will need to be raised at the
general conference: whether the EU can sign a completed
convention as a "contracting party." This intention has
already been signaled on several occasions by EU members but
is not in the current draft resolution.

3. (SBU) We need to make it clear that there is no need for
expanded participation by the EC in the May meeting. The EC
sat with the EU presidency during the February negotiations
and was able to participate fully. The EC rep often began
his interventions with the words, "The EU believes." The EC
also sat in on committee meetings and informal negotiations
and unlike other observers did not have to wait to speak
last, spoke as long as he wanted, suggested amendments and
was not limited to one intervention per item.

4. (SBU) We are told this will not set precedent in the UN
system. I do not see how it could do anything else. There
is also the problem of precedent at UNESCO. The EC claims
competency on intellectual property rights which will likely
be part of the bioethics declaration currently being
negotiated and other possible UNESCO instruments in the
future. Meanwhile, the EC rep tells us constantly that the
cultural diversity convention is not about trade, but the EC
is claiming competency in these negotiations precisely
because they cover trade.

5. (SBU) The EU has been actively demarching other UNESCO
members both here in Paris and in capitals to build support
for their draft resolution. They appear confident they have
the votes in this Executive Board; they don't want to face
defeat a second time. They start from a good base. They
can already count on the 8 EU members on the board, Iceland,
Turkey, Croatia and Switzerland.

6. (SBU) The number of countries that publicly oppose the EU
at this point is rather limited. They include Afghanistan,
India, Australia and probably Russia Japan and China.
Canada will likely support the EU but tells us they may
change their minds if they get a strong message from the US.
Brazil doesn't like the resolution but will probably abstain
and not speak against. This seems to be the position of a
number of other Latin American countries.

7. (SBU) We're still looking, but so far we cannot find
anything in the rules that allows us to call for a secret
ballot, which Afghanistan tells us would make it a lot
easier for smaller countries to vote against the EU. (In
fact, if we don't get a secret ballot, we might lose
Afghanistan). We also heard this from the longtime
ambassador of Serbia, but he's not on the executive board.

8. (SBU) The example in our cable last week (Reftel C) of
Jamaica, indicating they have received instructions to vote
in favor of the resolution, indicates how strongly the EU
has been lobbying capitals on this issue. Because the
lobbying has been done in capitals, there is not that much
we can do here to change votes. We need demarches in the
capitals of UNESCO's Executive Board members. OLIVER

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

UN: Guterres Condemns Killing Of Journalists, Following Beheading Of Mexican Crime Reporter

© UNESCO | International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Following the gruesome death of a Mexican journalist specializing in crime reporting, who was found beheaded on Wednesday, UN chief António Guterres has issued a statement condemning ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>

WWF: Living Planet Report Reveals Average Two-Thirds Decline In Wildlife Populations Since 1970

According to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 released today, global populations* of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century. The decline is due in large part to the very ... More>>