The IPDC: UNESCO vs. the Free Press


The IPDC: UNESCO vs. the Free Press

March 10, 1983 30 min read Download Report
Thomas G.
Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs

(Archived document, may contain errors)

253 M arch 10, 1983 THE IPDC: UNESCO vs. THE FREE PRESS 8 INTRODUCTION For the champions of a free press, it may have been like awakening from a bad dream. The Third Session of the International Programme for the Development of Communication, better known as th e IPDC, had just adjourned in Paris at the headquarters of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. It was just before Christmas last year, and the IPDC was about two years old. UNESCO bureau had been the hope of the West for terminating the intense war raging against the Western free press at UNESCO for over a decade. But now it looked as though the IPDC were yet.another battlefield for the enemies of press freedom. At the Third Session in Paris, for example T h e Soviets accused the U.S. of plotting to dominate the culture of the world through its news and informa tion media Moscow teamed with Iraq Cuba, and East Germany in an IPDC workgroup to try to ban bilateral communica tions aid within the IPDC. This tacti c aimed at funnel ing all IPDC aid money, including U.S. and Western funds, into a general pool that the Soviet bloc and the radical Third World states probably could domina'te by majority vote. While bilateral aid will be accepted for the time being at th e IPDC, no credit or mention of it will be made by the IPDC hierarchy. This means that free enterprise Western development schemes for Third World communications offered and funded at the IPDC bilaterally will not be recognized, clearly a slap at the free m arket system. 2 No free enterprise projects have been funded or accepted through the IPDC multilateral "Special Account,l except for a tiny $15,000 study proposed by the U.S. on the use of the kenaf plant for paper pulp. So far, 33 projects have been fund ed at $1.6 million 35-40,000 per project is the average allocation.

Among the projects approved for IPDC funding are The Pan African News Agency (PANA 125,000 for initial training and planning of five regional news llpoolsll; two will be headquartered in C olonel Muammar Qadhafils anti-U.S. Libya and in Marxist Zambia; of the 21-member PANA ruling Intergovernmental Council, eleven nations are either Marxist or radica'l leftist; only about four are solidly pro-West The Organization of African Unity (OAU)/Nat i onal Liberation Movement Press 45,000 for a study grant equipment, and consultants. The National Liberation Movements currently recognized by the OAU are: the Marxist South West African People's Organization (SWAPO the Marxist African National Congress (A N C and the Maoist Pan African Congress. UNESCO already funds these three terrorist groups plus the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) with nearly $8 million from its 1981-1983 educational budget.l News agencies-the Latin American Accion de Sistemas In formativos Nacionales (ASIN) and the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA 65,0

00. ASIN is directed by leftist Inter Press Service (IPS) Third World News Agency, based in Rome Interregional News Exchange between two Third World According to the U.S. Stat e Department, Inter Press Service Ilpublicizes a standard 'anti-imperialist' line it is regarded as a stalking horse for Third World press interests and is an object of deep suspicion both to the U.S. private media and the U.S. government.Il2 A 1981 Assoc i ated Press story quoted an IPS representative in Scandinavia as saying the agency Ifactively supports liberation movements such as the PLO, Sandinista guerril las (and) African guerrilla movements.lI3 AP also reported that 10 percent of IPS 1981 revenues, nearly a half million dollars came from U.N. agen~ies.~ The IPS American representative The U.N. organization as a whole has funded Marxist guerrilla and terrorist groups for at least $116 million since 19

77. See "How the U.N. Aids Marxist Guerrilla Groups Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 177 April 8, 19

82. Peter Hall hat's All the Fuss About Inter Press?" Columbia Journalism Review, January/February 1983, p. 53.

Associated Press United Nations Pays Press Agency Washington, D.C June 29, 1981 Ibid. 3 Interlink Press Service, has its offices at the U.N. Plaza, and some ongoing IPS contracts are with U.N. agencies. IPS currently gets funding from the United Nations Development Program.

ASIN's project summary for the ASIN-FANA venture at IPDC uses standard UNESCO-speak referring to llbalancell and llimbalancefl in the "flow of news.ll These are code words associated with what is called the New World Information Order (NWIO a Third World brainchild promoted by UNESCO. NWIO ideology claims that t he Western industrialized nations have never abandoned colonialism but simply carry on lrimperialismll under the new guise of mass communications. ASIN and IPS portray themselves as a proletarian solution to this "problem UNESCO's New World Information Or d er is a major front of a much broader ideological war against the.western free market economy and western culture known as the New International Economic Order (NIEO). It is a formula for a global socialist state which has become the master plan for Third World development at the United Nations.5 The thrust of the NWIO strategy has been to attack the commercial free press of the West, while promoting and supporting the government controlled press and media of the Soviet bloc and the radical Third World.

Th e IPDC is the spearhead of the NWIO assault on the Western media. As a UNESCO bureau it continues to isolate the free press. Touting rhetorically the "right to communicate,'I it continues to back government control of the press in the name of Third World d evelopment. The tactic of invoking human 'lrightsll on controversial issues is by now a time-tested technique employed by the Soviet bloc and the Group of 77 (or G-77, a Third World U.N. voting bloc now numbering over 120 nations). They have also created t he "right to educationll and the "right to culturell for similar political motives.6 In this case, the right to communi cate, deriv.ed from the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, is redefined to fit the strategy of NWIO. One of the chief tacticians in this strategy is the leftist radical, Mustapha Masmoudi, who submitted a 1978 paper to UNESCO's MacBride Commis sion on international communications that has become the Soviet bloc/G-77 debater's handbook for the NWIO ideological warfare.

Mas moudi, at the time Tunisia's Secretary oaf State for Information redefined information, saying Information must be understood as a social good and a cultural product, not as a material commodity or mer chandise See "For UNESCO, A Failing Grade in Educatio n Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 221, October 21, 1982. pp. 3-5.

See The Heritage Foundation Backgrounders No. 221 on UNESCO and Education op. cit., and No. 233 on UNESCO and Culture, December 13, 1982, pp. 4-5 P 4 Masmoudifs intent is to have this I rnewIr definition of infor mation accepted as international law. If that were to happen Western news agencies, for example, might be accused of having no lrrightIr to sell their international wire services. The informa tion they contain would be regarded as a "social goodi1 and the property of all. This is an overt denial of private property and, by association, of free enterprise economy. Thus the Marxist underpinnings of NWIO become clear.

UNESCO SUPPORT FOR NWIO Why has UNESCO declared war against the Western free press?

Part of the answer is rooted in two other important, relatively recent events at UNESCO. One is the adoption of the doctrine of the New International Economic Order (NIEO), approved by the U.N.

General Assembly in New York on May Day 19

74. NIEO is not really new of course. It is the old Fabian Socialist world wealth redistribution scheme returned in 1980s garb. NIEO is an attempt to play upon Western guilt--blaming all the Third World poverty and woes on the past colonialist empires o f the Western nations.

To assuage this llguilt,lr the NIEO proposes to correct the Ilinequali ties" between the living. standards of the Western industrialized nations and the developing countries. The method: massive transfers of wealth from the "First W orld" to the "Third Worldif in the form of technology, foreign aid, cash, and long-term low-interest international development loans.

The second major event relevant to the UNESCO war against press freedom is the close consulting partnership between UNESC O and the International Organization of Journalists (IOJ). The IOJ holds consultative status llBlr credentials at UNESCO. IOJ's close collaboration with UNESCO on numerous international communications conferences and projects since the 1970s is not, howev e r, its whole story. The IOJ is an important Soviet front organization completely aligned with Moscow in policy and propaganda.7 former editor of the Czechoslovakian weekly, The Reporter, Jiri Hochman explains that the IOJ is Ifnot just Moscow-sponsored bu t ) directly controlled by the KGB,'I8 the Soviet secret intelli gence agency The Out of these two events emerged the New World Information Order--ostensibly a strategy for the development of communications in the Third World. But more than that, it is a ca r efully con structed political strategy, one of the first practical applica tions of the NIEO in the U.N. NWIO preaches redistribution of M.L. Mueller, Warnings of a Western Waterloo: The Influence of the International Organization of Journalists on the Ev olution of the New International Information Order, Plurrow Reports, Tufts University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, April 1952, p. 55.

Ibid p. 57. 5 the wealth of ultramodern and global mass communication infrastruc tures created by the Western world.

UNESCO's one-sided approach to the communications controversy was evident in several recent meetings the agency has called, which strike at the free press. Only a few months after the IPDC was created at the UNESCO General Conference in Belgrade, a February 1981 !Icon sultative meetingll was scheduled on very short notice by the UNESCO Secretariat in Paris. The subject of the meeting was "The Protection of Journalists.11 A study on the same theme written by Marxist pro fessor Pierre Gaborit was t h e only agenda for the gathering. Repre sentatives of the Western free press were not invited until their loud protest embarrassed the Secretariat into including them. Out of this meeting came suggestions for regulating the reporting and the movement of jo u rnalists. Devices like international I.D. cards and a code of ethics for the press administered by an I'lnternational Commission for the Protection of Journalists were proposed A year later, when free press reaction to this meeting had died down, UNESCO h e ld another gathering in Bucharest, Romania on !'The Right to Communicate.Il The final report of this meeting suggested defining the right to communicate as a llfundamental human right" belonging to states as well as individuals. It further recommended tha t governments participate in all stages,of communication, including the making and llmonitoringll of communica tion policy. This is an open door to press censorship.

At the IIExtraordinary Session" of the UNESCO General Confer ence in Paris on December 3, 1982, a more complete plan of attack against the Western press was outlined. Again the right to communicate is invoked to condone government control of the press. Creation of centralized government press bureaucracies for the Third World is implied throug hout the UNESCO I'Medium-Term Plan 1984-1989, for communications development. Independent self-supporting, free-enterprise development strategies for poor nations are never mentioned by UNESCO in this five-year plan.

The Language of NWIO-ese The radical Fabian socialists and Marxists, authors of the NWIO ideology, perceived the electronic mass communications network of the developed nations as the Ilnervous system" of the Western free market economy. They created a NW IO language--or rather, jargon--to strike at the ganglia of that nervous system.

This jargon now dominates the rhetoric at all UNESCO forums on communications.

Two words are central to the NWIO-ese lexicon: llimbalancel1 and llinequalities.lf The NWIO par liamentarians at UNESCO--mainly the Soviet bloc and G=77-=constantly use these words to describe the state of world communications. For instance, the final wording adopted for UNESCO's "Medium-Term Plan" for 1984 to 1989 on the issue of communications cal l s for I 6 progressively [reducing and removing] the imbalance inequities and distortions that affect communication in many countries, both in its structures and in the flow of news and knowledge, as well as programmes 9 This implies that there is an I1ine q uity1l or some sort of injustice between the communications capability of the Western world and the Third World. As a result, according to NWIO advocates, more information glflowsll to the Third World from the West than vice versa. Therefore, they reason, this "one-way" flow tends to I1distortl1 the native cultures of the Third World by flooding it with capitalist propaganda and Western cultural mores.

The IOJ at UNESCO This language, with its distinctly Marxist and anti-Western overtones, is related as we ll to UNESCO's close collaboration since 1970 with the Moscow linked International Organization of Journalists, based in Prague. The IOJ makes no secret of its role in UNESCO. Its publications boast that UNESCO has followed NWIO and NIEO ideology faithful l y since 1974, shortly after IOJ regained its UNESCO consultancy status.1 as a result of the cold war to use IOJ terms. But the IOJ has not ushered in the New World Information Order alone. UNESCO has also received expert coaching from such Moscow aligned r adicals as Sean MacBride, who chaired the MacBride Commission, and Mustapha Masmoudi, the Tunisian leftist. At that time, the IOJ was replaced by the International Federation of Journalists. Just two years after its status was restored in 1970, UNESCO beg a n condemning Western news services as instruments for the "domination of world public opinion a source of moral cultural pollution.1111 Between 1952 and 1970, the IOJ lost its status at UNESCO In 1974, the Soviets introduced at the UNESCO General Confer e n ce a draft declaration on the mass media, asserting the right of governments to control their nation's media services. The declaration was hotly debated by East and West at UNESCO for the next four years. A final version with Western amendments was passed in 1978 without overt references to government control of the press. However, the document declares in its very title the I (1.e. support disarmament) racism and apartheid Kaarle Norden streng, the IOJ President, was one of the drafters of that decla UNES C P Draft Medium Term Plan (1984-1989 Second Part 111, "Communication in the Service of Man General Conference, 4th Extraordinary Session Paris 1982, Paragraph 3025b. lo Mueller, op.cit p. 67 l1 Congressional Record Chronicle of Events from Senator Dan Quay l e's address, June 17, 1981, S. 6363. 7 ration, and the IOJ was Itclosely consulted throughout redraftings of the document During this debate, one Western concession to the Soviet bloc and the G-77 was the creation of the so-called MacBride Commission Repo rt on international communications sponsored by UNESCO. This report was released at the UNESCO General Conference in 19

80. While not openly advocating government control of the media, the report is written almost entirely from the point of view of state-r un media, which it rarely criticizes. Sean MacBride chairman of the Commission, is a former leader of the Irish Republican Army and a long-time Socialist radical. The Report contains a heavy attack, both overt and implied, on the free market principle of W estern commercial media. The commercial press is characterized as trivial, unethical, and totally motivat ed by profit. According to the IOJ periodical, "The Democratic Journalist,Il February 1981, the IOJ Secretariat liked the Report very much. II[IOJ] even contributed in a certain way, to the elaboration of its different parts," said the J0urna1ist.l There is no comparable move among the Western free press to rival IOJ's sustained drive to lobby and win over the Third World to Soviet style jour n alism. Although the G-77 claims that NWIO is the battle cry of the Third World, it is more clearly identi fied by its style and its history with the USSR and the Eastern bloc nations why UNESCO Quite obviously, UNESCO is important to Soviet bloc and radic a l G-77 states because it provides a valuable propaganda forum for reaching the Third World. As a U.N. agency, it has respectability and supposedly is politically neutral; its image evokes humanitarian pursuits like literacy and the restoration of ancient m onuments like Angkor Wat. UNESCO also possesses its own considerable media power. It publishes four or five books weekly throughout the year. It hosts over 200 international conferences annually for professionals in fields ranging from biophysics to adult education to computer science.

UNESCO thus provides legitimacy and exposure for radical Marxist, and anti-Western arguments and ideas. This it has been doing with increasing frequency and vigor. It prompted, for example, Ernesto Vera, the Secretary-Genera l of the Union of Cuban Journalists, to explain with great satisfaction at the 1981 IOJ Conference in Moscow that UNESCO has forced Western capitalist tlimperialistsll to recognize the New World Information Order. For him, this was a great socialist revol u tionary breakthrough. He Rosemary Righter, Whose News? Politics, Press and The Third World (New York: Times Books, 1978 p. 111 quoted in Mueller, op. cit p. 77 l3 Mueller, op. cit p. 68. a drew attention particularly to the UNESCO 1978 mass media declara tion, the MacBride Report, and the IPDC.14 The message to the West here is clear. UNESCO, the NWIO, and even the IPDC are being coopted by the Soviet bloc and its radical allies to wage warfare against the West and the free press.

The attack on Western com munications through the New World Information Order is not just a Third World attempt to get more modern communications technology for itself--or even more access to this modern media. It is a strategy to socialize mass communi cations through UNESCO and t he U.N. Arousing Third World resent ment for the commercial success and technological inventiveness of Western mass communications serves several Soviet long-range goals: (1) it strikes at a major Western business, the media information industry, potentia l ly raising prices for those services and further burdening the whole free market economy 2) it creates enemies for the West among Third World nations at a time when the Third World and the East bloc together are in debt over 700 billion to Western banks; a nd (3) it increases opportunities for Soviet media propaganda in the Third W0r1d.l When UNESCO decided to back the NWIO and the New International Economic Order, the U.N. agency became, in effect, a propaganda arm for the enemies of independent press free d om and as such betrays the communications mandate described eloquently in the UNESCO Constitution as: advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreeme n ts as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image.16 Thus far, UNESCO has been used simply to attack--through NWIO--those few countries, less than four dozen, where an uncensor ed press, free of government controls, still exists. B y this UNESCO legitimizes the concept of a controlled press. It is this model and message that the U.N. agency--funded in largest part by American taxpayers--presents to the developing nations. No wonder press freedom fails to take root in the Third World .

THE IPDC: WHERE THE WEST'S GAINS BECOME LOSSES Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of UNESCO's showcase communications program--the International Programme for the l4 Ernest0 Vera The New International Information Order The Democratic l5 Victoria L. Engel Soviet Perspectives and Implications for the United Journalist (Journal of the IOJ December 1981, p. 18.

States Issue Brief #IB81120, Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, August 17, 1981, p. 4 l6 UNESCO Constitution, Article I Functions an d Purposes 2 (a). 9 Development of Communication--is that it diverts attention from the real issue of the NWIO war against the,West and their allies in UNESCO attacked the West for engaging in communications lljmperialism,lt it put the Western free press a nd information enterprises on the defensive. The West felt it had to scramble to keep from alienating Third World nations where.the Western media and information services do a large volume of international business When the Soviets The result was the crea t ion of the IPDC at the 1980 UNESCO General Conference at Belgrade, Yugoslavia. At the four previous General Conferences, the Soviets and the G-77 had mounted such a virulent attack on the Western media that the West and the U.S 1ooked.on the IPDC as a mea n s to buy peace. The Western nations agreed to increase foreign aid and the transfer of communications technology and training to the Third World through the IPDC. The G-77, in turn, indicated that the Third World would cease its NWIO attacks on the West v ia UNESCO if the IPDC, backed by Western capital, would start to help the Third World develop modern communications networks.

This was the promise. It has not been fulfilled. Rather than buy peace on the issue, the newly created IPDC has simply become anot her battleground for the NWIO attack against Western business and the freedom of the press. This was evident at the first UNESCO organizational meetings on the IPDC. In Paris in April 1980 and again at the UNESCO General Conference in Belgrade later that y ear, it was decided that IPDC meetings would be i conducted on a llconsensusll basis, i.e. by agreement of all parties or almost all, without a vote. This was a key Western demand, I designed to protect minority interests, specifically the Western free pr ess. Despite this critical agreement, the UNESCO Secre- I tariat, led by Director-General Amadou-Mahtar MIBOW of Senegal has disregarded the consensus compromise in drafting the rules of procedure for the IPDC Intergovernmental Council.

Though the Western group won back the idea of consensus, the Third World majority retained the majority vote proviso. As a result, a simple majority vote can potentially determine such IPDC matters as 1) which country gets aid, (2) where training facilities will be located 3 ) what kind of training will be given, and (4) whether U.S. and Western dollars will go to govern ment controlled media or independent media. Observes Dana Bullen Executive Director of the World Press Freedom Committee world in which two-thirds to three-f o urths of the nations either own or significantly control press and broadcast media, this was considered crucial. Ill8 In a l7 Dana Bullen A Touch of D&ji Vu at the IPDC Independent Press Institute Report, July 1981, p. 10-11. I 10 The eight-member Executi ve Committee or "Bureau I which acts as the IPDC board of directors and meets to plan the group's agenda and projects between the annual meetings, is also stacked.

The U.S. which just replaced France on the Bureau, finds itself standing alone for press fre edom against the other members the Soviet Union; Iraq; the hardline Marxist nation of Benin; India whose present government actively persecutes the opposition press; and Mexico, a vocal supporter of the NWIO wealth-transfer schemes. The Bureau chairman is a Norwegian, Gunnar Garbo, who reportedly has a close relationship with UNESCO's M'Bow, an avid backer of NWIO. The rapporteur for the Bureau is the Nigerian Alfred Opubor.

There have been three official sessions of the IPDC to date none offering much hop e for the West or the free press. Indeed the West has lost more than it has gained from the IPDC proceed ings. These losses-political and diplomatic--are harbingers of a long-range attack on the ability of the Western press and media to move freely in the Third World. The official records of the IPDC meetings reveal an active battle against the West by the East, backed by the G-77, in the name of the New World Information Order. They also show that the West is losing--badly.

This is so because of an apparent blind spot on the part of the Western delegations, including the United States. The West has failed to recognize that the IPDC and the NWIO debate are mainly political vehicles for the anti-Western forces at UNESCO.

The West continues to take the IPDC seriously as a forum for helping the Third World to develop modern communications.

East, on the other hand, regards the IPDC as an ideal stump from which to attack Western capitalist imperialism. The object is twofold: (1) t o win friends in poor countries by teaching them to blame their failing economies on the imperialism of the West and (2) to show them that this tactic is effective in shaking loose large amounts of Western capital from the gullible capital ists. Because t h e West is blind to the politicization of the agenda at IPDC, it has no political strategy at IPDC or UNESCO The For the moment, the IPDC has few funds--about $4 million in its development bank pledged or contributed by its 35 member states. The U.S. has c o ntributed $450,000 to the IPDC--$100,000 in Agency. for International Development (AID) bilateral funds and 350,000 in funds-in-trust. The U.S. wisely is refusing to place funds in the Special Account, usage of which the G-77 and the Soviet bloc can contr ol by majority vote.

Mustapha Masmoudi, has told the IPDC it needs $250 million in start-up funds. He is calling for eventual expenditure of some 15 to $20 billion by the industrialized nations through the IPDC in order to build a complete Third World tele communications infrastructure rivaling the Western media One of the princ'ipal advocates of NWIO at UNESCO, Tunisia's 11 The Losinq Game of "Damage Control vs. the IPDC Damage control" appears to be the present U.S. State Depart ment and Western approach t o UNESCO affairs in general and to the IPDC in particular. It means that U.S. and Western delegates are instructed by their governments to control or lflimitll the damage of hostile resolutions and speeches from the Soviet bloc, their confederates in the G-77, and the UNESCO Secretariat.

First Session IPDC, Paris, June 15-22, 1981 The IPDC Bureau members were elected at this meeting.

Despite the near total U.S. isolation on the Bureau, Washington seems to consider this a victory by "damage control" standards.

The G-77's original slate of candidates completely omitted the West, but included the USSR and two Asian states. The addition of France (later replaced by the U.S.A was considered a gain.

But allowing only one Western industrialized nation on the IP DC governing body is ludicrous--not only for reasons of political balance but because the Soviet bloc and the G-77 demand that IPDC I funds come mainly from the West. Already, 65 percent of UNESCO funding is supplied by the U.S Western Europe, Canada, Aus tralia and Japan.

Much of the first IPDC conference was a typically UNESCO political free-for-all. Iraq attacked the International Herald Tribune for supporting Israel Ifday after dayt1 in its news columns.

The Cuban spokesman chimed in that the IPDC would not be simply a I ltclearinghousell but a Ittool for change on a political basis."

Venezuela attacked the Western media for its "partisan biased attitude. The Saudis suggested codes of conduct and ethics for journalists that would prevent their being ab le to "distorttf and make up" things.18 The Norwegian chairman, Gunnar Garbo, summed up the mentality of the session and betrayed his own bias by stating blithely that freedom of the press does not mean very much to people who cannot buy TVs or radios. Wh a t Garbo implied was that such people need paternalistic government control of their media until their standard of living improves. A working paper at the session echoed this: "Developing communication means mainly increasing the contribution of the commun i cation media to indigenous correct economic, social and cultural develop ment Ifl9 sociopolitical tool of the state. It is the most insistent theme at the IPDC and in the NWIO debate at UNESCO This is a naked statement that the piess should be a Such stat e ments go essentially unchallenged by the West in its pursuit of damage control opportunity to make a strong statement for free enterprise develop ment of communications. While the .East has a fully evolved And the West forfeits thereby the l8 Bullen, op. c it l9 Ibid 12 economic and political strategy, the New International Economic Order, the West offers no counter--as in a Freedom in Free Enter prise plan. Nor does it refute charges of Western media 'Iimperial ism leaving the East to win by default the po litical battles it stages for the benefit of an observant Third World audience.

Second Session IPDC, Acapulco, Mexico, January 18-25, 1982 That damage control rather than winning is ingrained in the minds of Western negotiators was all too clear at the IPD C second session. Example: William G. Harley, a communications consultant to the U.S. State Department and one of the chief U.S. partici pants at the IPDC sessions, writes that at the Acapulco meeting The U.S. was not so naive as to believe that the IPDC w ould be totally free of ideology and politics. What is at stake here is the degree of politicization. So far this,has been comparatively minor 20 This definitely was not the case. The Acapulco meeting was a political disaster for the West. Luis Javier Sol a na, the Mexican General Coordinator for Social Communications, opened the gathering by attacking Western media for llbrainwashing'l the other cultures of the world. He endorsed the Latin American information news network, ASIN, directed by the left-wing I PS. Under the so-called right of communication for all, he endorsed censorship.

This he did in the name of eschewing the "naive, misguided or selfish views of the spontaneity and natural operation of the mass media." To protect against such naivet6, Solana proposed a state controlled media policy for developing countries that could screen out commercial media. He neglected'to say who would do this screening. He attacked successful Western media enterprises as IIa privileged minorityll pursuing a llmight is right" policy of communication.

The opening address of UNESCO Director-General M'Bow was even more startling in its dismissal of, if not contempt for press freedom. MIBOW has developed a style of rhetoric carefully constructed to camouflage the vi rulence of his attack on the free press. He set the tone of his talk using NWIO-ese to point out the serious imbalances in the flow of information" in the world.

This means, in the context stated by MIBOW, that the West has an effective and sophisticated communications system; that this frightens certain'Third World leaders whose people are exposed to Western living standards through the media; that they want this kind of media for themselves; that they are not able, or interest ed, in paying for it; that they want to pressure the West into giving it to them with no strings and at no cost. The IPDC wants William G. Harley The IPDC: Can It Stay On Course The Media Crisis A Continuing Challenge, World Press Freedom Committee, Washington, D.C 1982, pp. 71-72. 13 to tap the West for billions in communications development void of any bilateral conditions.

M'Bow then called for national communications policies in the Third1 World that "would enable each society to have perfect control over the instruments of its own Translated this means that each government should be allowed, perhaps encour aged, to screen out foreign media broadcasts. Indeed, the Soviet Union would be delighted to gain UNESCO backing for its drive to jam Voice of America and Radio Liberty broad c asts to Eastern Europe. Talk at IPDC, moreover, of giving each government perfect control over all its media is a thinly disguised legitimization of censorship. The message to Western media is: keep out of the Third World. The message to the Soviet bloc: approval of state censorship policies. The message to the Third World: rally round the NWIO banner and declare war on the Western media.

Worst of all, the Third World seems to be hearing from UNESCO's IPDC that a controlled press is better than a free press. This is the message that American tax dollars are sponsoring.

Not surprisingly, therefore, MIBOW'S speech attacked bilateral communications aid as llinegalitarian,ll caring more about the preoccupations of the donors than [about] the wishes of the recipients.

M'Bow studied in Paris with both Marxist and non-Marxist mentors at the Sorbonne during the late 1940s and early 1950s.

With some friends he ''organized a research group seeking to reconcile the quest for African cultural identity with Marxist pr inciples and the anti-imperialist struggle according to a profile by Pierre Kalfon, printed in UNESCO's Courier magazine in February 19

75. Kalfon recounts that M'Bow was a student radical leader of the Black African Students in France during the 1950s.

After the Sorbonne, Kalfon reports, MIBOW'S politics were too radical for the French West African authorities. They prevented his getting a teaching job in any major city of West Africa and relegated him to a secondary school in an isolated town in Mauri tania.

M'Bow's political background helps explain why he and the UNESCO Secretariat so strongly favor centralized media bureau cracies and state control of media in the Third World--why, along with the Soviet bloc and the radical contingent of the G-77, th ey use UNESCO and the NWIO doctrine to attack the Western commercial information enterprises. Indeed, MIBOW'S real feelings about press freedom surfaced recently after he had a row with the Swiss delegate to UNESCO, Ernest0 Thalman. Among other things, Th a lman criticized UNESCO for making state rights appear more important Amadou Mahtar M'Bow, Opening Address, Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication, Acapulco January 18, 1982, Final Report, Annex VII, C OM/PID/l. 14 than individual rights in the UNESCO Medium-Term Plan, 1984-89.

Not only did M'Bow take strong exception to Thalman's critique he lashed out at the French news agency for its coverage of his fight with Thalman. He did not accuse the agency of getting its facts wrong, as The Economist pointed out in a December 11, 1982 article on the feud. He objected to the prominence the French news service gave to Thalmanls criticism of UNESCO. To be sure the Western media deserve criticism and reprimands on occasion.

The trouble is the distressing double standard and hypocrisy by which M'Bow and UNESCO apply their criticism and certainly never criticized are such abuses by state-run media bureaus as the censoring of the Western press and the jamming of Weste rn radio broadcasts in Soviet bloc countries. Never criticized is the censorship that Moscow rigorously imposes on its satellite states, such as Poland and Czechoslavakia. Such policies are in fact endorsed by UNESCO1s overwhelming political support of st ate-run media and its total neglect of the needs and rights of the Western free press and the independent media.

Under IPDC procedures instituted at Acapulco, for instance nongovernmental broadcasters and other media must forward their aid requests to thei r national agency handling relations with UNESCO. In most Third World countries, this will be the government itself or an agency linked to the government This greatly increases the chances for governments to kill such aid requests before they ever reach t he IPDC Never mentioned The policy of damage control came back to haunt the U.S.

State Deparment as IPDC Chairman Gunar Garbo made his closing remarks at the Acapulco session. He quoted the head of the U.S delegation to the 1978 UNESCO General Conference as saying that U.S. communications goals at UNESCO included: steady reduction of disparities, and dependencies and imbalances in communications capacities, and the progressive fostering of many-sided dialogue rather than monolgues in internal as well as international communication structures.

This typifies the shortsighted American attempts to meet the New World Information Order advocates on their own ground. It adopts such NWIO code words as Ildependenciesll and Ilimbalances.

Did the U.S. delegation realize what it was saying?

Third Session IPDC, Paris, December 13-20, 1982 Once aga in the U.S. State Department and the Western nations aimed for damage control. U.S. delegates therefore were elated that they managed to block the Soviet and radical G-77 attempt to ban bilateral aid. The West, however, apparently missed the 22 World Pres s Freedom Committee Newsletter, February, 1, 1982, pp. 2-3. 15 point that the Soviets and their allies scored a major diplomatic victory in the final resolution on bilateral aid. Country-to country aid will be accepted through the IPDC but will not be reco g nized as Ilexisting Since the U.S. and its Western allies fought to retain bilateral aid in the IPDC rules failure to recognize it is, in effect, another deprecation of the West and the free market. Substantial U.S. and Western aid to the Third World will not come from Western governments but from the private sector of Western business and multinational corporations The UNESCO Secretariat, the Soviet bloc and the G-77 are well aware of this. They want the money and the technology, but they do not want West e rn business conditions or loan terms as part of the Western investment. They have insisted that such Western aid go into a common pool, the IPDC "Special Account,'I which they would be able to manipulate through the majority vote in the IPDC Council. Unde r this arrangement, the U.S. could find itself funding anti-American Cuban radio propaganda broadcasts or Sandinista Marxist newspapers in Nicaragua.

In Paris, the U.S. failed even to respond to IPDC funding of the "OAU National Liberation Movement Printin g Press.'I This will serve two Marxist guerrilla movements and one Maoist terrorist cadre in southern Africa. U.S. Delegate William G. Harley writes in his report on the Third Session of IPDC that IIBecause no UNESCO regular budget funds and no U.S. funds were involved, the U.S. did not formally op ose the projecti1 of the Liberation But why not? UNESCOfs .communications mandate is "to advance Funding a Movement Printing Press. 93 the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples I1 printing press for terr o rist groups like the South West African Peoples' Organization and the African National Congress, which have vowed respectively to overthrow Namibia and South Africa by armed struggle,I1 violates the UNESCO Constitution. It also aligns UNESCO with Marxist and Maoist terrorists.

U.S. delegation and other Western representatives protest?

Other projects funded by the Paris 1982 IPDC session include Arab Project for Communication Planning and Exchange ASBU 72,0

00. The proposal for this project, which involve s using the Arabsat communications satellite network (in progress), calls for a "code of ethics to govern the production of programmes transmitted via the space network At UNESCO "code of ethics" has come to mean regulation and control of journalists by t h e state Should not the 23 William G. Harley Meeting 111, International Program for Communication Development (IPDC I Janaliry 6, 1983, U.S. National Commission for UNESCO p. 2. 16 Funding of several national communications projects for Marxist and left-wi n g governments. This includes $20,000 for a radio development project in Guinea-Bissau 40,000 for a news agency project in Tanzania; communications consultants for Soviet backed South Yemen, which hosts a base for PLO terrorist training camps Funding of AL SEI, a Latin American news exchange proposal.

The UNESCO Secretariat failed to mention that the contract for setting up this network goes to Inter-Press Service (IPS), the Rome based group suspected of left-wing, anti-Western editorial policy and ideology The Asian Pacific News Network (ANN funded for $75,000 meanwhile, has recommended that incoming wire service copy (i.e from Western wires) enter Asian countries only through national usually government) news agencies.24 International Dissemination and Exc hange of Information by Global Satellite Systems--a feasibility study funded for $100,000.

This includes an eight-week experimental exchange of news broadcasts among the national news services of twenty-nine countries via transnationa'l satellite corporations Intelsat and Intersputnik in 19

83. This may be the most critical IPDC project. Once in place, this satellite system would offer TV and radio access to all continents and Third World countries simultaneously. It is vital to Western strategic interests that such a network never be dominated by the Soviet bloc aligned with the radical G-77 nations or by the UNESCO Secretariat. Such a worldwide, instantaneous news network could be used to broadcast the message of the NIEO to the Third World. Such a netwo rk would have to be largely financed by Western capital in order to be built at all.

CONCLUSION--ALTERNATIVES TO IPDC The chief characteristic of the IPDC so far is political propaganda, the great bulk of which has been anti-Western and anti-U.S. This situ ation is likely to worsen both in the IPDC and in the general UNESCO debate on communications.

Law of the Sea Treaty, the communications issue is a major test of the New International Economic Order, a plan for a world welfare state. The IPDC is the first step toward a New World Information Order, which is founded on NIEO As with the Rather than practice mere damage control, the U.S. and its There are some admirable allies should combat NIEO, NWIO, and the IPDC with a positive communications development s trategy that addresses legitimate requests by the Third World for help.

U.S. private sector communications training programs already under way. Programs for training Third World journalists, for 24 World Press Freedom Committee Newsletter, op tit p. 4 17 instance, are run and financed by The Media Institute and the World Pres s Freedom Committee, both headquartered in Washington D.C. The U.S. State Department is just beginning to consider working with these and other private sector communication groups on development projects. It should have done so earlier, but now must mount a major effort to develop a Freedom in Free Enterprise plan for overseas development--not just in communications but in all areas of Third World needs.

These progrhs must be bilateral and the countries to receive the aid carefully selected for their willin gness 'to cooperate with the Western private sector and their desire to give free market economic principles a fair trial in their countries. This campaign should be coordinated with all U.S. allies and it should involve their private sector representativ es too--including the independent media.

Further, on the.ideologica1 side, the U.S. and its allies must carry the fight to the G-77 radicals and to the Soviet bloc.

A free enterprise ideological counterattack must be formulated to oppose the NIEO and the NWIO doctrines, explaining that such ideologies are pure rhetoric--that they offer no real foreign aid to the Third World. The war of ideas between East and West is the most important business of-UNESCO, as the Soviet bloc definite ly views UNESCO as a ke y political forum for lobbying the Third World.

Even if the West is outvoted at the IPDC and at UNESCO Western nations can still take the floor at IPDC meetings and UNESCO general conferences to staunchly advocate freedom and a higher living standard and the free market that makes this possible.

The West can refuse to accept the NWIO-ese and UNESCO-speak vocabulary of communications llimbalancell and llinequality. II UNESCO publishes many volumes each year on communications.

Considering the size of the We stern monetary contribution to UNESCO, it is inexcusable that almost none of thse books are authored by Western communication experts, who know how to create successful communications networks. If UNESCO truly is serious about improving the communications capabilities in developing nations, why does it refuse to publicize those Western enterprises that have proved so successful?

Finally, the West must stress that government control and manipulation of the media repress economic development. This is documen ted by Dana Bullen.of the World Press Freedom Committee in the current issue of WPFCls The Media Crisis A Continuinq Chal lenge. Bullen points out that the Third World states which allow a free press also enjoy a higher per capita income and higher living standard.25 25 See World Press Freedom Committee, The Newspaper Center, Box 17407 Washington, D.C. 20041. 18 There is no need for the U.S. and the West to be underdogs at IPDC and UNESCO. At these.forums, bilateral aid must be defended, and the West shoul d. continue to refuse to contribute to the IPDC Special Account unless Western nations are able to pick their recipients.

With a strong Western policy for free market communications development instead of damage control, the U.S. and the West can forge a s trategy to ensure that Third World states acquire modern communications technology and a free press and that free, indepen dent journalists have fair access to information and audiences.

If UNESCO wants to oppose these goals and champion the state controlled press, the U.S. may not be able to stop it. But there is no need for the U.S. to be an accomplice.

Thomas G. Gulick Policy Analyst


Thomas G.

Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs