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Cablegate: Usunesco Assignment of Attorney to the Mission

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

UNCLAS PARIS 002990

SIPDIS

FROM USMISSION UNESCO PARIS
STATE FOR L THESSIN, L/UNA OSBORN, IO MILLER, IO/EX TIERNAN,
IO/T DRISCOLL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: APER AMGT UNESCO
SUBJECT: USUNESCO ASSIGNMENT OF ATTORNEY TO THE MISSION

RE: USUNESCO MISSION PROGRAM PLAN 2006 AND 2007

1. The conclusion of UNESCO's biannual Executive Board
meeting last Friday once again showed how important it is to
assign an attorney advisor to this Mission. Both Judy
Osborn and Mike Peay did a fantastic job as usual, but we
were left for over a week without legal advice and certainly
felt the lack of continuity in our legal representation
while we were engaged in various issues with legal
connotations, including our tough negotiations with the
European Union. As it was, Mike Peay stayed an extra day to
complete the EU negotiations, but the presence of a lawyer
in the week between Judy's departure and Mike's arrival
might have helped us avoid the last minute drama on the EU
issue.

2. The US Mission's efforts to push back on new normative
instruments is having some success, but this last Executive
Board meeting made it clear that many member states see
UNESCO's normative instruments as a key part of the
organization's work. In other words, they are never going
to go away. Presently we are in the final stages of the
Anti-Doping Convention, but how it will be implemented, and
other related issues, will require sustained legal advice.
We do not want to see the cultural diversity negotiations
rushed and hope they will continue after the next General
Conference (October 2005), which means they could go on two
more years. The bioethics declaration being elaborated is
clearly the first step toward a convention, and we keep
hearing talk about a convention on environmental ethics, a
declaration on the ethics of space and one on
nanotechnology.

3. Active, on-site legal advice during the entirety of the
Executive Board deliberations would have been useful,
particularly regarding our efforts to get UNESCO to focus on
new ways of implementing conventions. We kept having
current UNESCO treaty implementation practice waved at us
when someone readily at hand with knowledge about this is
handled throughout the UN system would have been invaluable
for an effective rebuttal. The UNESCO legal advisor's
office is appropriately cautious but we need regular, on-
going relations with that office, especially when they make
assertions like the European Union can participate in
cultural diversity negotiations primarily because the UNESCO
constitution does not expressly prohibit this.

4. Clearly, there's enough to keep a lawyer busy in this
mission but we would propose that a lawyer assigned here
also serve as back-up attorney for Geneva. It is our
understanding that Geneva has enough legal work that they
have been requesting a third lawyer for some time.

5. Finally, I understand that it may take a while to
actually get someone in place. That being the case, in view
of the weighty legal issues we will be confronting, I would
like, in the interest of protecting and advancing U.S.
foreign policy at this multilateral institution, to make an
early plea that our mission be provided with constant legal
coverage throughout this fall's UNESCO Executive Board and
General Conference. They will extend for six weeks from mid
September to late October.


OLIVER

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