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Cablegate: Unesco: Cultural Diversity Convention:

Published: Fri 30 Sep 2005 10:22 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS PARIS 006727
SIPDIS
FROM USMISSION UNESCO
IO/UNESCO FOR JANE COWLEY
EUR/ERA FOR PETER CHASE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/08/2011
TAGS: SCUL ETRD EU CJAN FR UNESCO
SUBJECT: UNESCO: CULTURAL DIVERSITY CONVENTION:
DIRECTOR-GENERAL MATSUURA STILL WANTS A CONSENSUS
AGREEMENT
REF STATE 179138
1. Ambassador Oliver met September 28 with UNESCO
Director General Matsuura and delivered points reftel.
Matsuura responded that he continued to hope that a
consensus document would emerge that could be adopted
at the October 2005 General Conference. He told
Ambassador Oliver that he had suggested to the Mexican
Chair of the Culture Commission that the Chair convene
small working groups of key people whose efforts to
find compromise would perhaps be in parallel with other
efforts. The Mexican Chair, he reported, seemed to
take the suggestion on board. He also said that he had
had some discussion with several ambassadors, stressing
that he still wants a consensus document.
2. Ambassador Oliver later discussed the DG's proposal
with the British ambassador (current EU president)
stressing the extremely serious concerns of senior
levels of the US Government. The UK Ambassador replied
that there is no possibility of any action at UNESCO
since the positions of delegations at UNESCO are firm.
He said that the only place in which the situation
could be changed is in capitals.
3. Separately, Ambassador Oliver met on 28 September
with the African Group. Her message of the need to
look at the Convention in light of U.S. commitment to
UNESCO's programs was well received. She appealed to
them to try to understand that the US has a different
philosophy than many of the countries at UNESCO. She
emphasized that the US tries to avoid top-down
directives, like legal instruments, in favor of bottom-
up activities by local community and civil society.
She also thanked them for supporting the USD 610
million budget and asked for their support for the US
in the World Heritage Committee and International
Hydrological Program elections. The main purpose of
the meeting was to lay the groundwork for further
initiatives and demarches both at UNESCO and in
capitals on the Convention. (Note: The Beninese
deputy told the DCM today that the Ambassador totally
disarmed the attendees and has provoked some Africa
group members to think about their positions.)
OLIVER
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