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Observers Urge U.S. To Drop Hard Line On UNESCO

WASHINGTON--The Bush administration's continued opposition to rejoining the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization is based on complaints that are no longer valid, say those who advocate renewed United States ties with the international agency. The latest evidence, they say, is the admini-stration's hard-line response to actions taken at UNESCO's recent meeting in Paris that were meant to improve its management practices and defuse some controversial issues that contr

Jeffrey Mervis

WASHINGTON--The Bush administration's continued opposition to rejoining the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization is based on complaints that are no longer valid, say those who advocate renewed United States ties with the international agency. The latest evidence, they say, is the admini-stration's hard-line response to actions taken at UNESCO's recent meeting in Paris that were meant to improve its management practices and defuse some controversial issues that contributed to the U.S. decision in 1984 to leave the agency.

"Most of the issues that we [the U.S.] have felt most concerned about have now been clarified or eliminated," says Richard Knobbe, a retired State Department official who attended the Paris meeting as a representative of the nongovernmental Americans for the Universality of UNESCO (AUU). "But the administration's position hasn't changed at all."

John Bolton, assistant secretary for international organization affairs within the State Department, confirms that the Paris meeting...

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