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Cablegate: Unesco: Philanthropy Expert Speaks On Private Sector

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Lucia A Keegan 10/18/2006 09:55:20 AM From DB/Inbox: Lucia A Keegan

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Text:


UNCLAS PARIS 06835

SIPDIS
cxparis:
ACTION: PAO
INFO: UNESCO POL AMB ARS DCM

DISSEMINATION: PAOX
CHARGE: PROG

VZCZCFRO412
PP RUEHFR
DE RUEHFR #6835 2901117
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171117Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2245
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0250

UNCLAS PARIS 006835

SIPDIS

PARIS PASS TO UNESCO PARIS

E.O. 12958
TAGS: KPAO UNESCO
SUBJECT: UNESCO: PHILANTHROPY EXPERT SPEAKS ON PRIVATE SECTOR
PARTNERSHIPS

REF: Paris 6251

1. SUMMARY: On September 14, 2006 Craig Kennedy, President of the
German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the United States, participated in
UNESCO's Day of Reflection and Dialogue on Extrabudgetary Activities
where he emphasized the need for UNESCO to develop more effective
ways to build private-sector partnerships (reftel). That evening he
spoke to UNESCO Ambassadors and secretariat staff at the Hotel de
Talleyrand, where he elaborated further on the various criteria
UNESCO could consider when developing global partnerships. Mr.
Kennedy described the value, risks, and applications of public
private partnerships in detail during these remarks before 100
UNESCO Ambassadors and secretariat staff, and continued the
discussion with a select group of Ambassadors at Ambassador Oliver's
residence immediately following the talk. He and Ambassador Oliver
also met privately with the Chinese Vice Minister of Education at
the latter's request. END SUMMARY.

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2. In his remarks at the Talleyrand (posted as a video on the new
Mission website), Kennedy outlined how public private partnerships
are useful in terms of leveraging public financial and intellectual
resources, noting how they provide a responsive and less
bureaucratic means of achieving one's goals. He discussed how these
partnerships help provide guidance on how common governance
mechanisms allow partners to work together more effectively, and
emphasized the importance of partner involvement in the decision
making process and in developing shared goals. The results of these
partnerships, he stated, lead to more money focused on UNESCO's
priority projects, more visibility focused on priority issues and
better coordination on other grantmaking. Kennedy briefly raised
the risks of partnerships for UNESCO: conflict between private and
public partner's priorities and methods, duplication of work, and
different internal bureaucracies and cultures that can be
incompatible. As a first step, Kennedy urged UNESCO to define its
own brand globally in order to attract private sector partners
because the benefits far outweigh the risks. UNESCO, he said, was
an organization with great potential for this kind of fundraising.
Kennedy had made these same points at the UNESCO Day of Reflection
and Extra budgetary activities that afternoon.

3. Several Ambassadors, including those of Madagascar, Guatemala
and South Africa took extensive notes on Kennedy's presentation and
other delegates, such as Israel and Benin, praised Kennedy for
bringing a different, and "much needed" perspective on funding to
UNESCO. During a question and answer session, UNESCO Assistant
Director General for Communication and Information underscored
Kennedy's statements about the usefulness of private sector
partnerships adding that UNESCO did not have to lose its identity or
sacrifice its values in such partnerships - on the contrary these
would be enhanced. The Chief of Staff to the Director General also
commented that UNESCO needed to hear Kennedy's message of taking
time to establish what UNESCO's core values and identity were before
going out to solicit funds, and she outlined partnerships that
UNESCO has begun to create with American technology companies such
as Intel and Microsoft.

4. After the Talleyrand presentation, Kennedy joined Ambassadors
from France, Benin, and Lithuania at Ambassador Oliver's residence,
as well as the Deputy Permanent Representative from Norway. A
senior editor from Le Monde and a member of the Secretariat also
attended the dinner. The conversation focused on ways to strengthen
UNESCO so that it could be more successful in establishing
relationships with foundations and the private sector.

5. Kennedy and Ambassador Oliver also had a private meeting earlier
that afternoon with the Chinese Executive Board chair at the
latter's request. The Chair, a Vice Minister of Education, changed
his flight at the last minute in order to have a one on one with
Kennedy and, following the meeting, stated that his expertise would
help UNESCO create good partnerships.

6. COMMENT: This was the Mission's most successful public diplomacy
program to date, and a perfect way to close out FY06 programming.
The Mission is committed to generating the maximum impact of each
speaker, and 4 events in an 18 hour visit for Kennedy is no
exception. Speakers at UNESCO can potentially reach officials of
over 150 countries, key Secretariat staff and journalists from all
over the world. We also make them available to the Bilateral
Embassy, the U.S. Mission to the OECD and Africa Regional Services
for programming. END COMMENT.

OLIVER

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