HL Deb 03 April 1990 vol 517 cc1388-9WA
The Earl of Swinton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have taken a decision on the question of United Kingdom membership of UNESCO.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Brabazon of Tara)

We have conducted a thorough review of UK membership of UNESCO as part of which we have consulted a large number of organisations with an interest in UNESCO activities. We have also taken into account the views expressed by the Foreign Affairs Committee in another place in their report on UNESCO dated 15th March. We have concluded that although there have been improvements at UNESCO over the past few years these are not sufficient to justify rejoining now. As recommended by the FAC, we shall continue to keep the situation under review and we shall continue to maintain our observer section at UNESCO. We shall also continue to participate in the UNESCO programmes with which we are now involved. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has today written to the Chairman of the FAC giving our detailed comments on their report. A copy of this letter has been deposited in the Library of the House.