Ray Wanner, having described the central role of the United States delegations in the creation of UNESCO and the important role of people from the United States in encouraging UNESCO to create some of its key programs, such as those of the World Heritage program and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, ended saying the United States has much to be proud of about UNESCO.
I will allow myself to wonder whether the United States also has much to be ashamed of in its role with respect to UNESCO.
- The Organization functions under a complex governance system which sometimes hampers its efficiency and effectiveness. The United States delegates to UNESCO's planning and governing bodies bear more responsibility than most countries for UNESCO's governance structures and processes.
- The United States representatives to UNESCO and our Civil Society organizations have encouraged the Organization to embark on new and often ambitious undertakings. On the other hand, the U.S. Government has sought to limit the rate of growth of UNESCO's budget. The withdrawal of the United States and the U.K. created a financial crisis for UNESCO. Now UNESCO fails to play the ambitious role that its constitution and the majority of its members demand because its resources fail to meet its responsibilities.
(The opinions expressed in this posting do not necessarily represent those of Americans for UNESCO.)