Skip to comments.Castro requests funds to pay World Heritage dues
Posted on 12/26/2013 7:21:00 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
SAN ANTONIO U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro is seeking support of an appropriation by mid-January to resume payment of dues to a United Nations agency, in order to protect a World Heritage Site nomination for San Antonio's five Spanish colonial missions.
In a letter last week to leaders of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Castro said he fears that nonpayment of dues since 2011 to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, could harm the nomination of the missions and other proposed U.S. sites. The United States lost its vote last month on the 21-member World Heritage Committee, and now can only lobby the group before it votes in 2015.
I am concerned that the World Heritage Committee could discriminate against American applications for World Heritage designation because the U.S. has not paid dues to the organization, wrote Castro, D-San Antonio.
He urged the committee to concur with a Senate provision appropriating funds for U.S. assessed dues to UNESCO's World Heritage Fund. Legislators have said the amount would be about $700,000 annually 1 percent of the total UNESCO dues owed by the United States.
Under a law passed in the 1990s, the United States is not to provide funding to any UN branch that admits Palestine as a full member. Dues to UNESCO have been withheld since Palestine was admitted in 2011.
In his letter seeking bipartisan support, Castro said Congress should follow the precedent set by the Reagan administration, and followed for 20 years, of supporting the World Heritage program despite withdrawal from UNESCO.
A study prepared for Bexar County and released earlier this year estimated that World Heritage designation for the missions would generate 1,000 jobs and $44 million to $105 million in annual economic impact. Of the 981 sites already designated worldwide, 21 are in the United States, including the Grand Canyon and Statue of Liberty. World Heritage designation elevates the status of sites that meet UNESCO standards, but does not impact ownership or management.
Congress has until Jan. 15 to pass an appropriations bill.
That's why the timing is of the essence in supporting renewed payment of World Heritage dues, said Laura Zapata, Castro's press secretary.
Wow.. I thought it was Cuban Castro...I was willing to donate a $.01
No. Those Texas Castro brothers need to be run out of politics.
I sure wish San Antonio would dump mayor Castro!
Does he really think that the seven historic missions are going to be bulldozed and replaced with condos without UN “assistance?”
Senor Castro wants the Naciones Unidas to protect the Alamo from filthy gringos.
Umm. Just who are the blue helmeted, UN rapists going to protect these “five Spanish colonial missions” from? I didn’t even know that they were under attack.
The US should not be paying dues to these agencies at all
Why do we need the U.N. to make 5 Spanish Colonial era mission into historical sites? They must be protected to some degree now or they would be strip malls.
To Hell with the Castro twins, UNESCO and the UN!
The UN should be kicked out of the US and the evil Castro twins (sons of a mother who has been a biggie in La Raza) should be shunned from Texas politics.
The people of Texas used to do things like this for themselves, without depending on some “world” organization. Until they were overrun by Mexico.
It’s my recollection that 4 of the 5 are a National Park. The 5th (the Alamo) is controlled by Texans. http://www.nps.gov/saan/index.htm
As is should be except maybe the "National" part.