THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 16, 2001
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
I welcome the significant reforms in the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) over the past several years,
beginning with the distinguished tenure of Frederico Mayor of Spain. Mr.
Mayor helped to revitalize and refocus the organization on its core
missions of promoting education for all, preserving our cultural heritage
and upholding freedom of the press. I also welcome the continued emphasis
on these issues under UNESCO?s current Director General, Koichiro Matsuura,
who has also taken significant steps to reform the organization.
For several years, we have indicated our willingness to consider
rejoining UNESCO subject to reform efforts and the availability of funding.
UNESCO's substantial progress on reform and the UN General Assembly?s
agreement on modification of assessments present the United States with a
new opportunity to move forward on this issue.
Our participation in UNESCO would strengthen the organization?s
ability to deal with such issues as the digital divide, education for all,
and international cooperation on scientific issues. It would also better
enable us to ensure that the organization sustains the progress made in
For all of these reasons, I would encourage the incoming
Administration to include a request to fund UNESCO in its
FY 2002 budget, and thereby pave the way for reentry into this important