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Viewing cable 06REYKJAVIK51, ICELAND: NEAR-TERM UNESCO CONVENTION RATIFICATION

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06REYKJAVIK51 2006-02-14 11:11 2011-01-13 05:05 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Reykjavik
VZCZCXRO6363
OO RUEHAP RUEHFL RUEHGR RUEHKN RUEHKR RUEHMJ RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHPB
RUEHQU
DE RUEHRK #0051 0451130
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 141130Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2576
INFO RUCNSCO/UNESCO COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000051 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR IO/UNESCO M. CRISTINA NOVO, IO/PPC RICHARD 
WILBUR, AND EB/TPP/MTA LINDSAY CHASON 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SCUL UNESCO ETRD IC
SUBJECT:  ICELAND:  NEAR-TERM UNESCO CONVENTION RATIFICATION 
UNLIKELY 
 
REF:  (A) STATE 19851, (B) 05 Reykjavik 415, (C) 05 
 
Reykjavik 431 
 
1. Summary:  The UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity is 
not on Iceland's legislative agenda; nor has it attracted 
Icelandic civil society or media attention.  End summary. 
 
2. Post can find no reference to the United Nations 
Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 
Convention on Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural 
Expressions, on the agenda for the Althingi (Icelandic 
parliament).  Queried casually and following other items of 
business (per ref A instructions), Ministry for Foreign 
Affairs Head of International Institutions Division Nikulas 
Hannigan commented that he did not think this was an 
instrument that Iceland would be in any rush to ratify. 
 
3. Post Public Affairs Section searched the files and 
websites of the country's leading newspapers -- 
Morgunbladid, Frettabladid and DV -- and found no media 
coverage of the UNESCO cultural expressions issue.  PAS also 
searched the webpages of Iceland's Ministry for Foreign 
Affairs and of the Icelandic Embassy in France, which 
represents Iceland in UNESCO, and found no articles or press 
releases about the UNESCO convention.  Based on the apparent 
lack of interest, PAS believes a PD campaign on the issue 
would be counterproductive. 
 
4.  The following information is keyed to the tracking 
categories provided ref A paragraph 8: 
 
I.  Legislative agenda 
d) not likely to get on those agendas in 2006 
 
II.  Media attention 
a) no published/broadcast opinion for or against 
ratification since October 
 
III.  Public debate 
a) No NGO, university, or other civil society discussions 
since October 
 
5.  Comment:  As reported refs B and C, Iceland followed the 
EU lead in signing the Convention while to us cautiously 
conceding the validity of U.S. criticisms.  Given the 
Government's ambivalence thus illustrated, we may expect no 
exception in this case to the usual achingly slow Icelandic 
process of incorporation of treaties into domestic law.  End 
comment. 
 
VAN VOORST