HC Deb 12 February 1990 vol 167 c30W
Mr. Wells

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will publish the report of the proceedings at the recent biennial general conference of UNESCO; what organisations in Britain he is consulting; when he expects to publish his assessment of the conference; and whether he will make it his policy to consult(a) the United Nations Association of Great Britain and (b) the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House before coming to any conclusions.

Mr. Sainsbury

UNESCO has just adopted a new medium term plan for the period 1990–95 and a programme and budget for the period 1990–91. These documents provide us with our first real opportunity to assess what progress the organisation has made since we left it in 1985. We will therefore now be making a detailed review of UNESCO with a view to deciding what our future relationship with the organisation should be. As part of this review we will be consulting a wide range of bodies with interests in the educational, scientific and cultural fields covered by UNESCO's mandate, The United Nations Association will be one of the organisations consulted. A final decision will be announced after we have considered all the evidence. We understand that the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House intends to conduct hearings in early March on our policy towards UNESCO.