LETTER: We must take the lead on Unesco

Share
Related Topics
From Mr David Wardrop

Sir: In his article "Where Britain gets it wrong" (4 September), David Howell MP, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, offers four examples of the UK government's over-submissive approach to foreign policy. He would agree to a fifth, the UK's overdue announcement that it will return to membership of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

In 1993 Douglas Hogg, Foreign Office Minister, conceded that there remained no obstacles to the UK rejoining. It was a case of finding the money - and waiting for the Americans. But in the same month Mr Howell's committee concluded that the Government's claim that it could not afford to rejoin Unesco was unconvincing and, anyway, incompatible with its suggestion that an American decision in Unesco's favour would require the UK to follow suit.

It went on to urge that we rejoin immediately. There was such broad support for Early Day Motion 1220 (1993) urging rejoining that it would have received a majority in a free parliamentary vote. Similar motions in 1994 and 1995 were also well supported.

This November marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of Unesco's constitution here in London. About then, a statement urging an early return to membership and already gathering support from a prestigious cross-section of the academic, scientific and cultural community (for co-operation in whose fields Unesco was set up), will be presented to Unesco's director- general, Dr Federico Mayor.

Mr Howell's general point will be well demonstrated if, despite this weighty evidence of support, the Government fails to re-empower our professionals in Unesco's important fora but continues to allow Washington to determine its timetable.

Yours,

David Wardrop

Vice-Chairman

Friends of Unesco

London, SW1

4 August

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Kennedy campaign for the Lib Dems earlier this year in Bearsden  

Charles Kennedy: A brilliant man whose talents were badly needed

Baroness Williams
Nick Clegg (R) Liberal Democrat Leader and former leader Charles Kennedy MP, joined the general election campaign trail on April 8, 2010  

Charles Kennedy: The only mainstream political leader who spoke sense

Tim Farron
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific