Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The UNESCO Budget

UNESCO's budget for the next two years will be set in the meeting of the General Conference in October, on the basis of the draft budget prepared by the secretariat under the direction of the Director General and the Executive Board. The key decision will be on the core budget, which is funded through assessed contributions of the member states. (There are also extrabudgetary resources contributed by many member states, that are separately determined.) The budget is approved for two years, and implements a medium term strategy of six years. In three of the past four budgets, there as a zero growth policy. Only with the return of the United States to UNESCO was the budget allowed to grow in real terms. In the current draft, there are options of including a zero growth and a modest real growth budget. My colleague has sent the following message to many of us:


We must make a determined effort to see that the US supports the level of at least $648 million for UNESCO's next biennium,so that the organization can be effective in its vital mission.

Write Secretary Rice, Deputy Secretary Negroponte, President and Mrs. Bush, and the appropriate Congressional Members.and urge them to support the higher level for UNESCO's budget.

Sidney Passman
Comment: I must agree with Sid. UNESCO's is the lead agency for education, science, culture, and communications and information in the United Nations system. Its charter calls for it to strengthen these sectors worldwide, and to network vast communities. Yet its core budget is on the order of one-third of my local school district's. The United States at very little cost to the tax payer, could encourage the nations of the world to devote more resources to UNESCO's mission. To do so would help to overcome the clash of cultures and to advance peace. JAD

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