UNESCO Grants U.S. Observer Status and Urges It to Return

Associated Press

UNESCO's executive board tentatively agreed Saturday to grant the United States observer status and adopted a resolution expressing hope that America "will, as soon as possible, resume its active participation" in the organization.

The agreements came after two days of heated negotiations on programs, financial issues and personnel practices within the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The United States withdrew from UNESCO on Dec. 31, saying the 160-nation organization had become too political, too costly and too inefficient. Britain and Singapore have said they will leave at the end of 1985. Japan said Tuesday that it would consider similar action, and a number of West European countries have indicated that they might not remain unless there are changes in UNESCO's operations.

Earlier during the five-day meeting, India and Mexico proposed a compromise that would allow the United States to maintain an observer mission at UNESCO until the organization's rules on such status could be clarified.

The board agreed, saying the United States could do this "in accordance with general international practice," meaning that Washington would not have to make a formal request, according to delegates who spoke on condition that they not be identified.

They said Western nations and Japan clashed frequently during the negotiations with Soviet Bloc and Third World countries, which are in the majority at UNESCO.

West German delegate Karl Moersch said that a "poor spirit" prevailed during the meetings and that the Third World and Communist countries did not make an effort to understand the West's position.

But Nigeria's Mohammed Moussa said that the Third World nations did all they could to reach a compromise and that, in his opinion, there was agreement on most issues.

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