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Cablegate: Czech Response to Demarche On Unesco Convention On

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

UNCLAS PRAGUE 000744

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

PARIS PLEASE PASS TO USUNESCO
STATE PLEASE PASS TO USTR FOR MICHAEL PEAY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EZ SCUL UNESCO
SUBJECT: CZECH RESPONSE TO DEMARCHE ON UNESCO CONVENTION ON
CULTURAL DIVERSITY

REF: SECSTATE 89776

1.(U) We delivered the demarche regarding the USG's stance on
the Convention on Cultural Diversity on 17 May to Karel
Komarek, Secretary General of the Czech Commission for UNESCO
at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and to Ladislava
Votavova, the new Ministry of Industry and Trade,
Multilateral Trade Department Director. Both ministries
expressed support for prolonging the discussion of the
resolution until a later date. They agreed that the
convention should not interfere with previous trade
agreements, and Votavova expressed hope that the wrangling
over the UNESCO resolution would not impact continuing WTO
Doha Round discussions. We faxed the talking points to Dr.
Michael Benes, Head of the UNESCO Office in the Ministry of
Culture, as he was unable to meet with us. He did not have a
response.

2.(SBU) This is the first time that the EC has claimed
competence in an UNESCO discussion since the Czech Republic
joined the EU, and Komarek expressed frustration at the
strong hand that Brussels was showing. He claimed that this
is the first time in over 100 agenda items that the
Commission has stepped in to take control. Both Ministries
freely admitted that it had become a trade issue and felt
that it was complicating the original purpose of the UNESCO
resolution. Votavova was accompanied to the meeting by her
deputy, Frantisek Peer, who is the continuity for trade
negotiations and appears to be the one who will represent the
Czech Republic in WTO discussions. They were intrigued to
hear that other EU countries were interested in minimizing
the trade aspect of the convention, and hoped that the
convention would not impact US participation in the WTO
Ministerial in Hong Kong.
CABANISS

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