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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02ROME5470 2002-11-08 08:36:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Rome
Cable title:  

PUERTO RICO'S ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP WITH FAO

Tags:   AORC RQ FAO 
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1. SUMMARY: THE UN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION
(FAO) HAS INFORMED FODAG THAT PUERTO RICO SEEKS TO REGAIN
ASSOCIATE MEMBER STATUS WITH THE FAO (THIS STATUS HAVING
LAPSED DUE TO PUERTO RICO'S INABILITY TO MEET ITS
FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS.) ACCORDING TO THE FAO STATUTES,
ASSOCIATE MEMBER STATUS MUST BE REQUESTED BY THE MEMBER
NATION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TERRITORY'S INTERNATIONAL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 ROME 05470 100908Z
RELATIONS. THE MEMBER NATION ALSO UNDERTAKES TO ENSURE
THAT THE ASSOCIATE MEMBER COMPLIES WITH ITS OBLIGATIONS
(INCLUDING FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS). THIS CABLE PROVIDES
BACKGROUND ON PUERTO RICO'S ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP. END
SUMMARY.



2. THE FAO CONSTITUTION (ARTICLE II.11) ALLOWS FOR
ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP FOR TERRITORIES THAT ARE NOT
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONDUCT OF THEIR INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS. THE MEMBER NATION HAVING AUTHORITY FOR THE
TERRITORY'S INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS APPLIES ON THE
TERRITORY'S BEHALF AND ASSUMES CERTAIN OBLIGATIONS (THE
MOST IMPORTANT BEING ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY FOR ENSURING
THAT THE ASSOCIATE MEMBER FULFILLS ITS FINANCIAL
OBLIGATIONS.)



3. THE UNITED STATES (JOHN BOLTON, ASSISTANT SECRETARY
OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION AFFAIRS) APPLIED
ON BEHALF OF PUERTO RICO OCTOBER 9, 1991 AND ACCEPTED THE
OBLIGATIONS OF FAO'S CONSTITUTION ON PUERTO RICO'S
BEHALF. IN 1993 PUERTO RICO REPORTED TO THE FAO THAT IT
COULD NOT MEET ITS FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AND THAT IT
WISHED TO WITHDRAW FROM THE FAO.



4. SINCE MEMBERS (INCLUDING ASSOCIATE MEMBERS) MUST WAIT
FOUR YEARS AFTER JOINING TO WITHDRAW, AND SINCE THE
WITHDRAWAL COULD ONLY BE MADE BY THE UNITED STATES (ON
PUERTO RICO'S BEHALF), PUERTO RICO DID NOT EFFECTIVELY
GIVE NOTICE TO WITHDRAW UNTIL DECEMBER 20, 1995. AS THE
FAO CONSTITUTION STIPULATES THAT WITHDRAWAL TAKES EFFECT
ONE YEAR AFTER NOTICE HAS BEEN GIVEN (WITH FINANCIAL
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 ROME 05470 100908Z
OBLIGATIONS CONTINUING UP TO THAT TIME), PUERTO RICO OWED
USD 75,424.80 IN ARREARS BY THE TIME ITS WITHDRAWAL
BECAME EFFECTIVE.



5. CONCERNING THE U.S. OBLIGATION TO ENSURE THAT THE
ASSOCIATE MEMBER MEETS ITS FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS, THE
1995 U.S. WITHDRAWAL NOTICE (FROM THE ACTING ASSISTANT
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION AFFAIRS

SIPDIS
GEORGE WARD) STATED THAT THE U.S. WAS "INFORMED" OF THE
OUTSTANDING OBLIGATIONS AND THAT THE UNITED STATES HAD
"CONVEYED THIS INFORMATION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF PUERTO
RICO WHICH HAS CONFIRMED THAT IT ACCEPTS THE OBLIGATIONS
AND INTENDS TO MAKE PAYMENT BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 1996."



6. THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF PUERTO RICO HAS WRITTEN TO
THE FAO REQUESTING TO BE RE-ADMITTED AS AN ASSOCIATE
MEMBER. THE FAO HAS RESPONDED THAT THIS NEEDS TO BE
HANDLED BY THE MEMBER NATION (THE U.S.). IN THIS
CONTEXT, PUERTO RICO HAS BEEN ADVISED AGAIN OF ITS
OUTSTANDING ARREARS WHICH WOULD NEED TO BE PAID OFF
BEFORE BECOMING A MEMBER AGAIN.



7. 1991 AND 1995 LETTER OF ACCESSION AND WITHDRAWAL AND
OTHER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION HAVE BEEN FAXED TO IO/EDA
AND USDA/FAS. FYI, THERE ARE NO OTHER ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
AT THE FAO.



8. COMMENT: THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED FOR BACKGROUND
ONLY, SINCE, TO OUR KNOWLEDGE, PUERTO RICO HAS NOT
APPROACHED THE SECRETARY OF STATE REQUESTING THAT THE
UNITED STATES APPLY FOR ASSOCIATE MEMBER STATUS FOR
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 ROME 05470 100908Z
PUERTO RICO WITH THE FAO. HALL

UNCLASSIFIED

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2002ROME05470 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED