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UNESCO: Was Bush Right?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Everyone remembers President Bush's <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020912-1.html">brilliant U.N. speech</a> of last Sept. 12, in which he transformed the debate about Iraq from one about American "unilateralism" to one about whether the U.N. had the resolve and the relevance to enforce its own dictates. A lesser noticed feature of the speech was an olive branch Bush held out to the international body:

    <blockquote>As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to Unesco. This organization has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning. </blockquote>

    Unesco is the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. As a White House <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09/20020912-4.html">fact sheet notes</a>, the U.S. withdrew from Unesco in 1984 because of its "poor management and values opposed to our own."

    The Associated Press brings news from Paris that suggests Bush was right to say Unesco had reformed:

    <blockquote>UNESCO criticized an elite French university on Wednesday for a campaign to cut off exchanges with Israeli universities because of the conflict with the Palestinians.

    A motion by the University of Paris VI for European academics to break ties with Israel prompted an outcry from French politicians and Jewish groups.

    Koichiro Matsuura, director-general for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said the campaign runs counter to the goal of advancing peace and understanding through education. </blockquote>

    U.N. agencies of course are notorious hotbeds of anti-Semitism, so Unesco's stand here is particularly noteworthy.

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