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Cablegate: Usunesco-Unesco to Participate in African

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

UNCLAS PARIS 008280

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

FROM USMISSION TO UNESCO PARIS
FOR NAIROBI FOR KAREN LEVINE

E.O.: 12958: N/A
TAGS: XA UNESCO
SUBJECT: USUNESCO-UNESCO TO PARTICIPATE IN AFRICAN
UNION SUMMIT IN KHARTOUM, PREPARATORY MINISTERIALS TO
BE HELD IN NAIROBI AND DAKAR

Ref: Paris 7715

1. (SBU) UNESCO Director General Matsuura, accompanied
by the Assistant Directors General for Culture and
Education will attend an African Union summit in
Khartoum on culture and education in January 23-24.
The total UNESCO delegation will number 12-15. In
anticipation of the Khartoum meeting, a preparatory
ministerial on culture will be held in Nairobi December
8-14. Another meeting on education will be held in
Dakar January 10-13. When asked by the DCM why the DG
and ADGs are traveling to Khartoum at this time, the
ADG for Culture said that this was a decision of the
African Union that they could not go against.

2. (SBU) In a subsequent conversation, a member of the
Kenyan delegation told the DCM that he had raised with
his capital concerns about a summit being held in
Khartoum because of potential security problems. He
also said that Khartoum had been chosen by the AU as
the venue to help the peace process, as well as to
counter attempts to move the capital to other locations
in the north or the south. He mentioned, too, that
Kenya has been providing a lot of aid in southern
Sudan, especially helping to train teacher trainers.

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3. (U) The Nairobi meeting will begin with a gathering
of inter-governmental experts followed by a meeting of
culture ministers December 13-14. The provisional
agenda includes a discussion of common African
positions on global issues including the cultural
diversity convention, the African Cultural Charter of
1976, a review of the Dakar cultural action plan of
1992, the African world heritage fund and a segment on
culture and education and the use of information
technology. (Note: we looked for these items on the
AU website but the site is seriously out of date.)
Mounir Bouchenaki, the ADG for culture and Katerina
Stenou the head of the cultural policy office in the
UNESCO cultural sector will be attending the Nairobi
meeting. The Kenyan diplomat also invited the US
government to send an observer to attend the meetings.

4. (SBU) When the DCM asked Katerina Stenou on
December 2 if there would be a lot of pushing to get
states to ratify the cultural diversity convention, she
felt that there will probably be more discussion about
getting the European countries to deliver on the
promises they made to get African support for the
convention. (Comment: we have long wondered what
kinds of promises were made to get the complete support
of African countries for a document that primarily
helps countries from the "north.") Stenou did share a
copy of a speech she gave at a recent culture ministers
meeting in Dakar that portrayed the CD convention in
glowing terms.

5. (U) Comment: The US made clear its displeasure
with the portion of the UNESCO budget devoted to
supporting the cultural diversity convention by taking
the unprecedented step (at UNESCO) of calling for a
vote on the budget and voting against it. What we now
voted against is coming to pass. We will continue to
make the point that we do not want to see the
secretariat involved in advocacy for the convention.

SIPDIS

OLIVER

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