[At-Large] [APAC-Discuss] [ALAC-Internal] US loses its vote in UNESCO

Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro salanieta.tamanikaiwaimaro at gmail.com
Sat Nov 9 13:48:38 UTC 2013

Dear Jean-Jacques,

I am glad to be of service. Personally I feel that the Surveillance Debate
that happened in the European Parliament over the study is different. The
Hearing was mainly to look at whether the countries mentioned had violated
EU law and relevant instruments and to see whether the study and its
recommendations were of any value.

The context of the Press Release by the US State Department shows that US
cannot vote in the UNESCO. Their not being able to vote unfortunately was
due to statutory restrictions which they are attempting to fix. At this
critical juncture in Internet Governance, UNESCO plays a critical role in
Internet Governance amongst other things. The loss of the vote is
unfortunate and it would mean that when it comes to voting on critical
matters, the US will have to rely on its allies. In this instance with the
recent revelations on surveillance we are watching a change from the usual
BRIC v US on the issue of surveillance to other traditional alliances such
as France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands etc who are not happy with the
"surveillance". Last time I checked 87 countries signed the Seoul Framework
on Cyber Security.

When Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel who made open calls for Europe to
re-examine its cooperation with US Intelligence signals a breach of trust.
The fact that Angela Merkel has been touted the de facto leader of the
European Union with Germany shouldering and providing the much needed
stability to ease the stress on financially economies in Europe coupled
with her being former President of the European Council and Chair of G8
places her in a very key position of power and influence in this time. Dev
shared a piece of news on skype that Europe was considering building a
pan-European equivalent of the NSA. (war begets war -what a messed up

This of course does not discount the G90 who met in Fiji recently. The
chair is from Fiji, I think unless it has lapsed. Given the current deals
across the tables between the EU and G90 who knows what the tradeoffs would
be for certain decisions. We are in significant times and I doubt much will
happen as there are too many other pressing matters that countries have to
prioritise such as Super Typhoon which devastated Philippinnes and Palau.
Not to mention the global food, water, energy crisis that is causing the
price of bread to rise and shortage in Eastern Europe, Middle East.

But I still think that it is a significant piece of news that affects the
current chess pieces on the board.

Kind Regards,

On Sun, Nov 10, 2013 at 2:01 AM, Jean-Jacques Subrenat <jjs at dyalog.net>wrote:

> Dear Salanieta,
> thank you for forwarding this.
> Well, every country has its own priorities. From the point of view of the
> surveillance agencies in the country you mentioned, and in the UK, making
> the "war against terror" as the lodestone of public policy is probably a
> smart choice, as their budgets have increased by orders of magnitude.
> Viewed in this specialized light, culture, rights and education must seem
> like things for sissies. The initiative taken by Viviane Reding,
> vice-president of the European Commission, which you pointed out a few days
> ago, shows that the priorities of the EU are somewhat different from those
> which led to the US losing its voting rights in UNESCO.
> JJ.
> ----- Mail original -----
> De: "Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro" <salanieta.tamanikaiwaimaro at gmail.com>
> À: "apralo" <apac-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org>, "At-Large Worldwide" <
> at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>, "ALAC Internal List" <
> alac-internal at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
> Envoyé: Samedi 9 Novembre 2013 12:13:42
> Objet: [ALAC-Internal] US loses its vote in UNESCO
> Dear All,
> The US just lost its vote in UNESCO. For details see the Press Statement
> released by the US Government today:
> Dear All,
> The US just lost its vote in UNESCO. See the Statement released by the US
> Gov:
> U.S. Mission to the United Nations: Statement on the Loss of U.S. Vote at
> UNESCO <http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/217394.htm>
> 11/08/2013 08:54 PM EST
> ------------------------------
> Today the United States lost its vote in the United Nations Educational,
> Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Conference as a
> result of legislative restrictions that prohibit the U.S. from paying its
> dues.  While these restrictions are motivated by concerns that we share,
> the loss of the United States' vote in UNESCO diminishes our influence
> within an organization that is looked to around the world for leadership on
> issues of importance to our country, including the rights of women and
> girls, Internet governance, freedom of the press, and the recognition and
> protection of cultural heritage.  The Obama Administration has called upon
> Congress to approve legislative changes that would allow needed flexibility
> in the application of these statutory restrictions.
> U.S. leadership in UNESCO matters. As such, the United States will remain
> engaged with the organization in every possible capacity, including
> attending meetings, participating in debates, and maintaining our seat as
> an elected member of the Executive Board until 2015.
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