oversight

State Department: U.S. Participation in Special-Purpose International Organizations

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-03-06.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                  United States General Accounting Office

GAO               Report to the Chairman, Committee on
                  Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate



March 1997
                  STATE DEPARTMENT
                  U.S. Participation in
                  Special-Purpose
                  International
                  Organizations




GAO/NSIAD-97-35
             United States
GAO          General Accounting Office
             Washington, D.C. 20548

             National Security and
             International Affairs Division

             B-270707

             March 6, 1997

             The Honorable Jesse Helms
             Chairman, Committee on Foreign Relations
             United States Senate

             Dear Mr. Chairman:

             As you requested, we obtained information on U.S. government
             membership in 25 special-purpose international organizations and
             2 inter-American organizations that received funding support of
             $10.8 million in 1995 through assessed contributions provided by the
             Department of State.1 In your letter and in subsequent discussions, you
             expressed concern about the level of U.S. spending to support
             international organizations in light of the stringent budgets the federal
             government is facing. You noted that funding for U.S. participation in
             international organizations had not received the same scrutiny as funding
             for domestic programs and questioned whether State had reassessed the
             costs and benefits of U.S. participation in about 20 small, special-purpose
             international organizations. You also questioned whether U.S. membership
             in some organizations is as critical as it once was, or whether U.S.
             interests can now be served by other means.

             In response to your concerns, we obtained information on (1) State’s
             efforts to assess whether U.S. government membership in these
             organizations continues to serve U.S. interests, including a summary
             description of the organizations’ missions and issues that have been raised
             about the benefits of U.S. membership and (2) steps that have been taken
             to keep the government’s contribution costs low.


             The U.S. government participates in a number of international
Background   organizations established to serve specialized but limited functions.
             Membership in these organizations is generally restricted to national
             governments, and they have comparatively small budgets. Although some
             of the organizations permit nongovernmental entities to participate in their
             activities, only member governments have voting rights to set policy
             agendas and budgets (with one exception, the World Conservation Union).


             1
              In fiscal year 1995, the United States provided assessed contributions of about $873 million to 51
             international organizations. Among them are the United Nations and its specialized agencies;
             inter-American organizations; regional organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
             and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; as well as the 27 organizations
             discussed in this report, which are independent bodies and not affiliated with the United Nations.



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The organizations depend largely on membership dues to finance their
operations, but each uses a different basis to assess contributions from
member governments. In most instances, the organizations permit
memberships to be withdrawn only after 1 year’s prior written notification.

In 1995, State received funding for 26 “other” special-purpose international
organizations through appropriations made to its Contributions to
International Organizations account. Our review included all of these
organizations except the World Trade Organization, which was in an early
formative stage.2 As your office requested, we also included in our review
two inter-American organizations (the Inter-American Indian Institute and
the Pan American Railway Congress Association). Table 1 shows 1995 data
on the U.S. government’s assessed dues for the 27 organizations we
reviewed, the U.S. assessment rates, and the percentage of professional
staff who are U.S. citizens for each organization.




2
 International Trade: Implementation Issues Concerning the World Trade Organization
(GAO/T-NSIAD-96-122, Mar. 13, 1996) and World Trade Organization: Status of Issues to Be Considered
at Singapore Ministerial Meeting (GAO/T-NSIAD-96-243, Sept. 27, 1996).



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Table 1: Organizations, Assessed U.S. Dues for 1995, and Percentages of the U.S. Assessment and U.S. Professional Staff
to Organizational Totals
Dollars in thousands
                                                                                                            U.S.      U.S. staff in
                                                                                         U.S.       assessment       organization
Organization                                                                      assessments          (percent)        (percent)
Bureau of International Expositions (BIE)                                                 $33                8.9                  0
Customs Cooperation Council (CCC)/World Customs Organization (WCO)                      3,732              25.0                 8.6
Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCOPIL)                                     91                7.0               25.0
Inter-American Indian Institute (IAII)                                                    120              44.1                   0
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)                                      1,643                9.2                4.2
International Bureau for the Publication of Customs Tariffs (IBPCT)                       120                5.9                  0
International Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (IBPCA)                         22                6.7               20.0
International Bureau of Weights and Measures (IBWM)a                                      924                9.8                3.3
International Center for the Study and Preservation and Restoration of Cultural
Property (ICCROM)                                                                         725              25.0                10.5
International Copper Study Group (ICSG)                                                    63                9.6               33.3
International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)                                            127              10.9                28.6
International Grains Council (IGC)b                                                       373              17.2                   0
International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)                                              91                4.5               14.3
International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (IIUPL/UNIDROIT)               108                6.2                  0
International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG)                                            53                6.9                  0
International Natural Rubber Organization (INRO)                                          297              15.1                12.5
International Organization for Legal Metrology (IOLM)                                     110                8.8               20.0
International Office of Epizootics (IOE)                                                   88                2.7               20.0
International Office of the Vine and Wine (IOVW)                                           55                4.8                  0
International Rubber Study Group (IRSG)                                                    92              11.8                   0
International Seed Testing Association (ISTA)                                              11                3.0                  0
International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)                                         112                2.8                7.1
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)/World Conservation
Union                                                                                     286                5.6                9.0
                                c
Interparliamentary Union (IPU)                                                          1,096              14.1                12.5
Pan American Railway Congress Association (PARCA)                                          25              26.3                   0
World Road Association (WRA)                                                               20                5.6                  0
World Tourism Organization (WTO)                                                          410                5.0                7.1
Total                                                                                 $10,827              11.7                 7.4

                                                                                                          (Table notes on next page)




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                   a
                     The United States was assessed an additional $33,000 in 1995 because South Korea,
                   Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, Iran, Pakistan, and Uruguay did not pay, making the
                   effective U.S. assessment rate 10.2 percent.
                   b
                    The rate rose to 23.6 percent in 1996 because the new convention included all grains, not just
                   wheat, and used more recent statistics to determine the assessed contributions.
                   c
                     Authorizing legislation for the IPU conference allowed the United States to pay up to
                   13.61 percent. That is what the United States agreed to pay, not the assessed figure of
                   14.1 percent.




                   In May 1995, State began a comprehensive interagency assessment of U.S.
Results in Brief   membership in all of the international organizations to which it makes
                   assessed contributions. Following this assessment, State announced in
                   December 1995 that it intended to withdraw from three small
                   organizations (the International Cotton Advisory Committee, the Pan
                   American Railway Congress Association, and the World Tourism
                   Organization).3 According to State officials, State decided to withdraw
                   from these organizations because they were considered to be the least
                   defensible. State later rescinded the notice to the cotton group as a result
                   of subsequent legislation.4

                   In May 1996, after being urged by the Congress to prioritize its funding
                   requirements for international organizations, State announced the criteria
                   that it had used in 1995 in reviewing and evaluating U.S. membership in
                   international organizations. These criteria included the extent to which the
                   United States directly benefits from the organizations’ activities, how
                   much of the organizations’ budgets are devoted to activities benefiting the
                   United States, the scope and depth of the organizations’ constituencies,
                   and their responsiveness to management improvement efforts.

                   In December 1996, State reported to the Congress its decisions concerning
                   the allocation of funds from the Contributions to International
                   Organizations account for fiscal years 1996 and 1997 based on an
                   assessment and prioritization of U.S. interests in these organizations.
                   According to State, this assessment had been a continuing process,
                   beginning with the May 1995 review. State categorized the organizations
                   according to a priority ranking based on the importance of their mandates
                   to the U.S. national interest and their cost-effectiveness. The order of

                   3
                    State also announced at that time that the United States would withdraw from the United Nations
                   Industrial Development Organization.
                   4
                    Title II, sec. 283, of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (FAIR) (P.L. 104-127, Apr. 4,
                   1996) states that “the President shall ensure that the Government of the United States participates as a
                   full member of the International Cotton Advisory Committee.”



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                        priority was (1) peace and security; (2) health, safety, and economic
                        well-being; and (3) selective interest. None of the 27 organizations
                        discussed in this report were in State’s top priority category; 4 were in
                        State’s second priority category; and 20 were in the third priority category.5

                        Our interviews with U.S. agency officials indicate that all of the 27
                        organizations appear to have missions that are broadly consistent with a
                        U.S. interest, but there were mixed views as to the value of the benefits the
                        U.S. receives from membership. The key concerns raised included the cost
                        of membership in some organizations, such as BIE and IAII, relative to the
                        benefit received and that some organizations, such as ICAC, ICSG, ILZSG, IRSG,
                        and INRO, primarily benefit their related industries.

                        State has attempted to keep the U.S. government’s assessed contributions
                        to the special-purpose international organizations low. It has sought actual
                        reductions in their budgets, established a systematic coordination process
                        with U.S. agencies having lead programming responsibility, and tried to
                        secure more private sector contributions to these organizations. However,
                        according to State officials, private financing of membership dues for
                        these international organizations is generally not a viable option under
                        their existing charters or State’s funding policy.


                        In response to congressional directives, State conducted a comprehensive
State Efforts to        review beginning in May 1995 to decide whether each international
Establish U.S.          organization to which it makes assessed contributions continued to serve
Interests and Funding   important U.S. interests. However, State did not report to the Congress on
                        the results of this review until December 1996 (after it was asked to
Priority for Each       comment on a draft of our report).6 State officials told us the review
Organization            consisted of a series of interagency meetings to discuss raw assessment
                        data provided by the key U.S. stakeholders in the organizations, but that
                        they did not prepare a formal record of the review or at that time prioritize
                        funding by organization. State officials said that assigning a priority to



                        5
                        State had already withdrawn from two organizations and transferred funding responsibility for
                        membership in the World Road Association to the Department of Transportation.
                        6
                         On December 10, 1996, State submitted a report to the House and Senate Committees on
                        Appropriations as required by Conference Report 104-863 that accompanied the Fiscal Year 1997
                        Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 104-208). The Conference Report identified certain organizations for
                        full funding, others for zero funding, and the remainder to be allocated according to the “importance of
                        the international organizations to the national interests of the United States.” According to State, its
                        December 1996 report, which included all 50 of the international organizations covered by the
                        Contributions to International Organizations account, was based on a continuous assessment,
                        beginning with its May 1995 review.



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each organization would have been very difficult, given the differences in
their size, mission, cost, and program effectiveness.

Nonetheless, as a result of its review, in December 1995 State informed
three entities—the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC),7 the
Pan American Railway Congress Association, and the World Tourism
Organization—that the United States intended to withdraw from them.
State acknowledged that the withdrawals were budget driven, but it also
justified the withdrawals on the basis that the private industries that were
the focus of these organizations were already adequately served. A State
official said that while there may be other organizations that the United
States could withdraw from in the future, decisions on withdrawal would
likely continue to be hindered by a lack of quantitative performance
indicators for each organization and by objections raised by the
organizations’ political supporters and constituency groups.

In testifying on the administration’s fiscal year 1997 budget request before
a House Subcommittee on May 2, 1996,8 the U.S. Permanent
Representative to the United Nations said the criteria that are applied in
determining whether to retain membership in international organizations
are (1) the level of direct U.S. benefit in political, strategic, or economic
terms determined on the basis of consultations with end users; (2) the
percentage of the organization’s budget that is devoted to activities that
benefit the United States; (3) the scope and depth of the U.S. constituency;
(4) the relevancy of the organization’s mandate to contemporary global
issues; (5) the organization’s program effectiveness and quality of
management; (6) the organization’s budgetary restraint and transparency;
and (7) the organization’s responsiveness to the U.S. government’s overall
reform efforts.

State’s December 1996 report to the Congress assembled the 50
organizations, including the 27 discussed in this report, into 3 broad
cluster groups according to a priority ranking based on the importance of
their mandates to the U.S. national interest and their cost-effectiveness.
These cluster groups, in order of priority, were (1) peace and security;
(2) health, safety, and economic well-being; and (3) selective interest. Our
analysis indicated that none of the 27 organizations discussed in this

7
 In a letter to ICAC on June 28, 1996, State rescinded a prior letter notifying ICAC of the U.S. intent to
withdraw from the organization, consistent with provisions of the Federal Agriculture Improvement
and Reform Act of 1996.
8
Statement by Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright before the Subcommittee on the Departments of
Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies; House Committee on
Appropriations, May 2, 1996.



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                                              report were included in State’s top priority category (peace and security);
                                              4 were in State’s second priority category (health, safety, and economic
                                              well-being); 20 were in State’s third priority category (selective interest);
                                              and 3 were no longer being funded by State. As a further delineation of
                                              priority, State’s report showed that, of the four organizations discussed in
                                              our report that fell within the second priority category, contributions to
                                              one would be reduced by 18 percent and contributions to three would be
                                              reduced 19 percent from the full requirement for fiscal year 1997.
                                              Similarly, of the 20 organizations discussed in this report that were in
                                              State’s third priority category, contributions to 11 would be reduced by
                                              19 percent; 1 would be reduced by 21 percent; 7 would be reduced by
                                              23 percent; and 1 would receive no funding for fiscal year 1997. (See tables
                                              2 and 3.)


Table 2: Organizations in State’s Second Priority Category—Health, Safety, and Economic Well-being
                                                                                                                         State’s funding
                                                                                                                     reduction for fiscal
Organization                                               Mission                                                   year 1997 (percent)
International Union for the Conservation of Nature/World   Leader in global conservation; forum for coordinating
Conservation Union                                         conservation efforts                                                       18
Customs Cooperation Council/ World Customs                 Unifies world customs laws and ensures uniform
Organization                                               interpretation of Council conventions                                      19
International Agency for Research on Cancer                Provides global research on environmental cancer
                                                           causes                                                                     19
International Office of Epizootics                         Global animal health forum; provides disease
                                                           alert/research                                                             19



Table 3: Organizations in State’s Third Priority Category—Selective Interest
                                                                                                                         State’s funding
                                                                                                                     reduction for fiscal
Organization                                               Mission                                                   year 1997 (percent)
Hague Conference on Private International Law              Facilitates private legal transactions/ relationships,
                                                           such as intercountry adoption and process serving
                                                           abroad                                                                     19
International Bureau of the Permanent Court of             Facilitates settlement of international legal disputes
Arbitration                                                                                                                           19
International Bureau of Weights and Measures               Ensures standardization of basic units of measure; an
                                                           important issue in promoting free trade                                    19
International Center for the Study and Preservation and    Provides unique expertise, research center, and
Restoration of Cultural Property                           training facility for conserving and restoring cultural
                                                           property                                                                   19
International Grains Council                               Collects and publishes product market data; conducts
                                                           research; coordinates food aid programs                                    19
                                                                                                                             (continued)



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                                                                                                                          State’s funding
                                                                                                                      reduction for fiscal
Organization                                                 Mission                                                  year 1997 (percent)
International Hydrographic Organization                      Sets standards for chart making; promotes safe sea
                                                             navigation                                                                19
International Institute for the Unification of Private Law   Unifies and harmonizes laws in different countries to
                                                             facilitate trade and remove unnecessary conflicts                         19
International Organization for Legal Metrology               Unifies standards/instruments for commerce and
                                                             industry                                                                  19
International Seed Testing Association                       Sets and tests seed quality standards; promotes
                                                             research                                                                  19
International Tropical Timber Organization                   Tropical timber trade/forest management and
                                                             conservation; provides market information for wood
                                                             products                                                                  19
International Copper Study Group                             Provides policy forum and access to copper market
                                                             data                                                                      19
International Office of the Vine and Wine                    Helps protect public health by ensuring product
                                                             integrity and resolve problems such as marketing fraud                    21
International Bureau for the Publication of Customs          Translates and publishes customs tariffs of members
Tariffs                                                                                                                                23
International Cotton Advisory Committee                      Provides policy forum and access to cotton market
                                                             data                                                                      23
International Lead and Zinc Study Group                      Collects and publishes product market data; conducts
                                                             research                                                                  23
International Rubber Study Group                             Collects and publishes product market data; conducts
                                                             research                                                                  23
International Natural Rubber Organization                    Provides market intervention to stabilize product
                                                             supplies/prices                                                           23
Bureau of International Expositions                          Provides for orderly planning of international
                                                             expositions                                                               23
Interparliamentary Union                                     Fosters international peace and cooperation using
                                                             personal contact and dialogue by elected
                                                             parliamentarians                                                          23
Inter-American Indian Institute                              Policy forum and information resource on Native
                                                             Americans                                                                100


                                                  For most of the organizations that we examined, U.S. government officials
Benefit of U.S.                                   we contacted believe either that the benefits derived from them clearly
Membership in the                                 exceeded the cost of membership or that it was very worthwhile for the
Organizations                                     United States to be represented and have an active voice in their activities,
                                                  but there were mixed views on the value of continuing membership in
                                                  some organizations. U.S. government officials also stated that in many
                                                  cases the organizations serve specific U.S. government or commercial
                                                  interests that cannot be served as efficiently by other means. Further, they
                                                  considered most of the organizations’ program focus to be generally clear,



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valid, and in conformity with U.S. interests, but some primarily benefited
their related industries. U.S. officials in many instances were active and
influential participants in the organizations—often serving on their
governing boards and with some Americans serving in top management
posts.

In general, U.S. government participation in these organizations is
designed to help ensure that U.S. interests are fairly and equitably
considered in international commercial activities and disputes, and that
the United States has access to vital public health, transportation safety,
and other information. U.S. participation also allows active engagement in
exchanging and promoting ideas for reducing trade barriers, unifying
common standards of business trading practice (such as weights,
measurements, and quality control), influencing environmental policy and
providing voluntary support for conservation programs and sustaining
endangered natural resources, and deliberating other issues of broad
public interest. These are matters that officials from the relevant agencies
told us the U.S. government either cannot do alone or cannot address as
effectively through other bilateral or multilateral means.

Nonetheless, there may be opportunities for cost savings in some of the
organizations. For example, the assessed U.S. rates for two organizations
(the Customs Cooperation Council and the International Center for the
Study, Preservation, and Restoration of Cultural Property), both based on
U.N. formulas at 25 percent, are significantly higher than most of the other
special-purpose international organizations. Although U.S. officials see no
viable alternative at this time to membership in the customs organization
to support the broad trade interests it serves, its work is closely tied to
that of the World Trade Organization to which the United States pays a
much lower (15 percent) assessment rate. The cultural property
organization by contrast has a narrow and important national historic (but
not foreign policy-related) constituency and, though U.S. officials
generally consider it to be well managed, the benefits are difficult to
quantify and some officials believe that they do not appear to be
proportionate to the cost.

Our review also found that State has addressed to some extent the issue of
whether functions or organizations could be combined or whether similar
services were available from other sources that could eliminate possible
areas of overlap and duplication. For example, a possible merger of some
functions between organizations (including the IBWM/IOLM and IARC/World
Health Organization) had been identified and was being examined by the



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                          respective organizations as a way to achieve cost savings. Also, rapid
                          technological change may soon permit private sector sources to translate
                          customs tariff schedules at less cost than IBPCT, and we found some areas
                          of possible overlap between certain organizations, such as those involving
                          the tropical timber (ITTO) and vine and wine (IOVW) groups and the Food
                          and Agriculture Organization that U.S. officials had not fully addressed or
                          resolved.

                          We noted that five commodity organizations—four that produce and
                          disseminate market data and one that helps stabilize raw material supplies
                          and prices through a stock fund—were all designed to primarily benefit
                          their related industries; and officials we interviewed indicated that three
                          others in which the U.S. government participated had minimal benefits.
                          However, as discussed below, there are also reasons for retaining
                          membership in them.


Commodity Organizations   The primary functions of ICAC, ICSG, ILZSG, and IRSG are to produce
                          information on worldwide production and consumption of individual
                          commodities, information that primarily benefits the related industries but
                          provides less direct or essential benefit to the U.S. government.
                          Nonetheless, there are benefits to U.S. membership. According to
                          government officials we interviewed, the information the organizations
                          develop on worldwide production and consumption of the respective
                          commodity is objective and current, and generally not available elsewhere.
                          In addition, the organizations provide a useful forum for encouraging or
                          promoting intergovernmental and business cooperation and exchanging
                          views on matters of joint interest without violating antitrust laws.
                          However, based on the criteria adopted by State, the question appears to
                          be whether government or public interests are sufficiently served by
                          membership in these organizations to justify continued financing of
                          activities that primarily benefit specific U.S. industries.

                          U.S. membership in the organizations seems to be especially important to
                          specific industry groups, which participate actively in them at their own
                          expense. They send representatives to parliamentary meetings and
                          working group sessions (their experts have been selected to serve on
                          technical study groups), and they finance cooperative projects, and
                          generate subscriptions and other fees that reduce the cost to member
                          countries.




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The International Natural   The International Natural Rubber Organization administers an
Rubber Organization         international natural rubber agreement, which the United States has
                            participated in since it took effect in 1979. The agreement was designed to
                            reduce price volatility and ensure an adequate supply of natural rubber by
                            managing a buffer stock. In September 1996, the U.S. Senate ratified the
                            agreement to participate for an additional 4 years. As the world’s largest
                            consumer of natural rubber and with just three countries—Thailand,
                            Indonesia, and Malaysia—producing 75 percent of the world’s rubber
                            supply, the United States has a significant interest in assuring an adequate
                            long-term supply of this commodity at reasonable and stable prices. The
                            executive branch supported the agreement’s extension, but expressed a
                            preference for free market forces to operate in the belief that they better
                            serve the interest of consumers and producers. However, it believed that
                            the rubber industry needed more time to develop alternative institutions to
                            manage market risk. Nevertheless, several unresolved issues emerged
                            during the debate, including whether the agreement resulted in lower
                            prices for U.S. consumers and whether the level of cash reserves used to
                            support it—the current U.S. share of which is about $80 million—is
                            needed and adequately safeguarded. The executive branch has made clear
                            its intention that this will be the last agreement extension the United
                            States will join.


The Interparliamentary      U.S. participation in the Interparliamentary Union (IPU) is within the
Union                       provenance of the Congress and not a matter for the executive branch to
                            decide. IPU was the first worldwide political organization to promote the
                            concept of international peace and cooperation. While its goals are similar
                            to those of the United Nations, IPU differs from it in that it seeks to
                            improve personal contact between delegates of member nations’
                            parliamentary groups by restricting membership to elected participants of
                            these legislative bodies. The United States participated in its first meeting
                            and has been a member since its establishment in 1889. Membership gives
                            congressional delegates the opportunity to discuss with foreign
                            colleagues—especially those from emerging democracies—U.S. principles
                            of multiparty democracy and rule of law. IPU also enables them to share
                            their experiences relating to the legislative process and
                            executive-legislative-judiciary relations.

                            However, Members of Congress have not been active IPU participants in
                            recent years. We found that no Senator has attended any IPU meeting since
                            1989, and no Representative has attended any IPU meeting since
                            March 1994. State officials and congressional staff attributed the inactive



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                            U.S. participation in the organization in recent years to changes in the
                            Congress and inconvenient scheduling of IPU meetings (its meetings are
                            normally held in April and September when the Congress is in session,
                            making it inconvenient for members to attend). IPU also sought to raise the
                            U.S. assessment rate from 12.58 percent ($1.1 million in 1995) to
                            15 percent, or above a statutory limitation of 13.61 percent.

                            The administrative responsibility for IPU shifts with each Congress and, for
                            the 104th Congress, it rested with the House of Representatives
                            (administered by the Clerk’s Office). Fiscal year 1996 appropriations
                            legislation initially held up IPU funding until IPU agreed to reverse the
                            proposed assessment increase and adjust its schedule to better
                            accommodate U.S. participation. The House leadership subsequently
                            agreed to continue U.S. participation in IPU and maintain the assessment at
                            the prevailing rate.


The Bureau of               The Bureau of International Expositions provides for orderly scheduling
International Expositions   and planning of international expositions. As such, it primarily serves
                            those member governments whose cities are vying to hold such events.
                            The United States joined BIE in 1968, 40 years after its creation, with the
                            aim of ending a then-existing proliferation of officially sanctioned
                            expositions and assisting U.S. cities that were bidding to host them. Since
                            then, the frequency of expositions has been drastically reduced and no
                            U.S. city is currently seeking to host any scheduled international
                            exposition. Moreover, recent funding for U.S. pavilions at expositions has
                            been provided entirely from the private sector. The U.S.-assessed
                            contribution for BIE is modest ($33,000 in 1995), but it pays the highest
                            assessment rate (8.9 percent) of any member nation. The assessment rate
                            is based in part on the U.N. scale of assessments and on the member
                            states’ size and economic production. State and other agency officials said
                            that there was strong sentiment both in favor of and in opposition to U.S.
                            membership in BIE. Proponents argue that the membership could be
                            justified if the federal government seeks to continue to officially support
                            and maintain an active role in determining where and how future world’s
                            fairs are to be held. They further contend that it might be in the public
                            interest to assist potential sponsors in attaining the rights to hold future
                            events since memberships are limited to national governments and BIE
                            members are in more advantageous policy decision-making positions.
                            However, those who oppose continued U.S. membership in BIE say that
                            such official sponsorship is unnecessary and that the chief U.S. goal of
                            more orderly scheduling of worlds’ fairs has been met.



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The Inter-American Indian   IAII, a specialized organization of the Organization of American States
Institute                   (OAS), serves as a research center and forum for member states to plan for
                            the economic, social, and cultural advancement of Native Americans.
                            Although U.S. budget support has demonstrated solidarity with Central
                            and South American countries that have large Indian populations, U.S.
                            officials have been dissatisfied with IAII management and its activities in
                            recent years and have shown little interest or involvement in the
                            organization. In response to reform efforts encouraged and led by Mexico
                            and the United States, IAII installed a new director in 1996 who is reported
                            to be making positive structural changes in the organization. In the
                            meantime, State has adopted a “wait-and-see” approach regarding future
                            U.S. funding and participation. The United States does not recognize IAII’s
                            assessment rates, which are based on outdated Indian population figures.
                            Instead, it has capped its annual assessment contribution at
                            $120,000 annually, which in 1995 represented 44 percent of IAII’s budget.
                            Although the rate is high relative to other participants (Mexico paid
                            30 percent in 1995, with no other country paying more than 4 percent;
                            Canada is not a member), it is less than what the United States would have
                            to pay if the assessment rate were based on the current OAS scale
                            (59 percent) or on gross national product data (estimated at 80 percent).
                            No funding was provided to IAII in fiscal year 1996 and congressional
                            conferees have agreed that none should be given in fiscal year 1997.


                            State officials said they recognize that stringent government budgets make
Efforts to Keep U.S.        it imperative that costs be kept low in all areas, including the cost of
Government Costs            membership in international organizations. Thus, they have attempted to
Low                         link funding decisions for the small special-purpose international
                            organizations to performance indicators, established a more systematic
                            budget review and coordination process, and tried to secure increased
                            private sector funding for the organizations in an effort to keep assessed
                            contributions low. State’s Bureau for International Organization Affairs is
                            responsible for these efforts and is assisted by the designated State
                            contact point and interagency group that have the lead or significant
                            program responsibility for U.S. interests in the international organization’s
                            work. Travel and accreditation to conferences are handled by State’s
                            Office of International Conferences.

                            In June 1995, State’s Bureau for International Organization Affairs revised
                            its budget policy from one of having zero real growth for U.S. participation
                            in international organizations (which had been in effect since 1986) to one
                            of seeking actual reductions in the organizations’ budgets through a



                            Page 13                                        GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
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combination of improved program management, structural reform, and
indicators that can be used to measure management performance.
Exceptions to this policy were to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
According to Bureau officials, the budget review process has been
facilitated by requiring the organizations to submit audited financial
statements and closely coordinating U.S. budget positions with officials
from the U.S. agencies having lead programming responsibility. Bureau
officials make the final determination concerning the U.S. position on an
organization’s budget and provide instructions to U.S. delegates in
advance of the organizations’ budget conferences.

U.S. delegates to these budget conferences are encouraged to seek out and
build coalitions for consensus on cost-cutting and reinvention measures
with other like-minded member nations for improved leverage. They are
instructed to vote against or abstain from voting on program budgets if the
U.S. budget targets are not met—and they have done so. Over the past
year, in consonance with State’s new and more restrictive budget policy,
U.S. delegates were obliged to cast negative votes on several
organizational budgets—including the International Agency for Research
on Cancer, the International Copper Study Group, the International Seed
Testing Association, and the International Bureau of the Permanent Court
of Arbitration—although other than signaling a U.S. determination to
oppose unwarranted budget increases, it is not clear what impact these
votes may have had. Nonetheless, U.S. delegates succeeded in rolling back
some other proposed budget increases through consensus actions with
other member states.

Although not specifically related to assessments, State officials said they
are also employing a more restrictive policy on sending delegates to the
organizations’ meetings. This should enable them to reduce travel costs for
U.S. government delegates attending the organizations’ meetings. Usually,
State seeks to cover such meetings with staff that are assigned to local
embassy posts or funds a single designated representative from the
department or lead agency (which may fund travel for additional
representatives out of its own budget). According to data provided by
State’s Office of International Conferences, as of March 1996, it had spent
about $166,000 for staff travel to 15 of the 27 small organizations’ functions
during the preceding 18 months; it did not fund any travel to 10 of the
organizations’ conferences during this period. State also accredits but
does not provide any funding for private sector participants.




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                           B-270707




Securing Private Funding   While State has authority to accept gifts under certain circumstances, it
                           does not accept contributions from private sources to pay for assessed
                           dues to international organizations. The Foreign Affairs Manual prohibits
                           it from accepting gifts from any outside source that could create an
                           appearance of conflict of interest between the donor and the performance
                           of State’s responsibilities or might otherwise cause people to believe that
                           accepting officials would lose objectivity or be influenced in their
                           decision-making because of the donation. State has interpreted this
                           guidance as precluding it from accepting contributions for assessed dues
                           to international organizations from private sources. A State official said
                           that while State serves industry interests to some extent, especially in its
                           efforts to increase U.S. exports, it must do so in an objective
                           manner—regardless of whether or not the donor has a stake in the
                           outcome of any State action. Another State official told us that the use of
                           gift contributions to fund such ongoing operational activities puts at risk
                           State’s long-range ability to plan and carry out promised actions. Officials
                           from other U.S. government agencies dealing with these international
                           organizations agreed with State’s position.

                           Nevertheless, State and other lead U.S. agencies have made some efforts
                           to get private and nongovernmental organizations to contribute directly to
                           these organizations with mixed results. For example, they have attempted
                           to open or expand membership, on a nonvoting basis, to private sector
                           participants. Some organizations (notably those engaged in conservation
                           efforts such as the World Conservation Union and the International Center
                           for the Study, Preservation, and Restoration of Cultural Property)
                           currently receive a significant portion of their budgetary funds from
                           associate memberships, revenue-producing activities, donations, and
                           various sources other than assessed member state contributions. IGC, ICAC,
                           and ISTA are all considering allowing industry organizations to be
                           nonvoting members in an effort to raise additional revenue. However,
                           there is opposition to these proposals in all three organizations. Most
                           government members of ICAC oppose this idea, according to Department of
                           Agriculture officials, because they fear industry representatives will then
                           want to have a say in how the organization is run. Also, some IGC members
                           have expressed concern over how the integrity of the organization would
                           be maintained. They fear that IGC’s work would no longer be unbiased if
                           industry representatives were included in all meetings.

                           Another way in which State and the other agencies have sought to
                           increase the organizations’ budgetary resources through private
                           participation is to encourage interested private groups to contribute to



                           Page 15                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                     B-270707




                     voluntary programs or subscribe to publications or events that are run by
                     some of the organizations. For example, U.S. industry and environmental
                     groups have occasionally made small donations toward ITTO voluntary
                     projects in which they were interested. However, there does not seem to
                     be much organizational interest in expanding their contributions.
                     Nonetheless, agency officials said that some organizations have had good
                     success in raising revenue from projects or services, securing free office
                     space and logistic support, and generating other extra-budgetary resources
                     that have had the effect of reducing dues assessments to member
                     countries. Other organizations, including ICSG, also do studies with private
                     sector participation. Private participation also comes in nonfinancial
                     forms. Representatives from industry and academia belong to the working
                     groups and technical committees that do much of the work of ISTA and
                     WRA, as well as providing advice and assistance in a number of other
                     organizations.

                     Private sector participation in these international organizations is usually
                     conducted in uncompensated ways through the national delegation; the
                     industry or trade associations bear the salaries and travel costs of its
                     representatives. For some organizations, including IOE and WRA, non-U.S.
                     government officials serve on the U.S. delegation as official members. For
                     other organizations, industry officials attend as delegation observers, as in
                     IOE, ICSG, and ILZSG, or can present their own positions as industry
                     representatives, as in IOVW and ISTA. Private sector representatives also
                     help formulate the U.S. delegation positions for international
                     organizations. Industry representatives belong to interagency coordinating
                     groups for many organizations. Industry and nongovernmental
                     organizations also provide experts that serve other organizations where no
                     formal coordinating group exists, such as CCC, ISTA, and ITTO. Department
                     of Agriculture officials stated that there is room for more industry
                     participation in IOE at the national level, but not in the IOE itself.


                     State generally agreed with our report and our observations about the
Agency Comments      value of continued membership in certain organizations, but said that it
and Our Evaluation   had evaluated the need for continued U.S. participation in all of the
                     international organizations as part of a continuous review process that
                     began in May 1995. State added that it was on the basis of this review
                     process that prioritization was achieved in the sense that some
                     organizations were identified for withdrawal while others were not.




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              B-270707




              Our draft report acknowledged the review process that State initiated in
              May 1995, and fully recognized State’s efforts in setting and refining its
              priorities for these international organizations. However, at the time of our
              review, State had not formally documented the results of its review
              process, and its first report was not submitted to the Congress until after
              our draft report had been provided to the Department. Moreover, neither
              the documentation that State provided to us during the course of our
              review nor its December 1996 report to the Congress fully explained the
              rationale for the judgments that were made.

              Our draft report took no position on either the level of resources that State
              needs to make contributions to the organizations discussed in this report
              or which organizations the United States may wish to withdraw from.
              However, given the likely decline in discretionary spending in the federal
              budget and the various proposals for reductions in State’s budget, our
              draft report contained proposed recommendations that the Secretary of
              State (1) specifically and systematically apply the criteria announced in
              May 1996 for retaining membership in international organizations to the
              organizations discussed in this report; (2) from this process, establish
              priority groupings or a priority ranking for retaining membership; and
              (3) report this information to the Congress along with State’s annual
              budget justifications. While we believe that our proposed
              recommendations continued to have merit, we also believe that State’s
              December 1996 report to the Congress began to respond to our concerns
              about the need to prioritize the funding of international organizations.
              Because State’s report indicated that “a rigorous assessment of U.S.
              participation in international organizations must be an ongoing process,”
              we are not making any recommendations at this time. Nonetheless, we
              believe that the process State began in May 1995 that culminated in the
              December 1996 report should continue.

              State’s comments are reprinted in appendix II. It also suggested some
              technical corrections and we have incorporated them into the report as
              appropriate.


              We conducted our review in Washington, D.C., primarily at the
Scope and     Department of State, in the Bureaus of International Organization Affairs
Methodology   and Economic and Business Affairs, and other State bureaus and offices.
              We interviewed State officials responsible for budget and program
              administration and reviewed policy documents, manuals, budget and
              financial documents, correspondence, assessment data, and background



              Page 17                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
B-270707




data on the organizations. We also held discussions with and obtained
pertinent information from officials of other affected government
agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health
and Human Services, the Interior, Transportation, and the Treasury
(including the U.S. Customs Service); the Office of Management and
Budget; the National Institutes of Health (including the Cancer and
Environmental Health Sciences Institutes); the Smithsonian Institution;
the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the President’s Council of
Economic Advisers and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the
Congressional Budget Office; Congressional Research Service; the
Secretary of the Senate; the Clerk of the House; and U.S. embassies in
London, England; Brussels, Belgium; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to
discuss organizations headquartered in those capitals.

To determine how State assesses whether government membership in the
27 organizations continues to serve U.S. interests, we requested
documentation that would identify and compare the specific objectives
that the government sought to achieve in each of the organizations with
the results or benefits derived. State provided us with copies of its budget
justifications and supporting data, but these documents did not provide
clear statements of U.S. goals or program strategies for each of the
individual organizations. State officials said that although State had
coordinated an interagency review of all international organizations in
1995, it did not formally document the results of this effort. Therefore,
they said they could not show us how they made the determinations that
continued government membership in the small international
organizations served U.S. interests. Nonetheless, when State provided a
copy of its December 1996 report to the Congress to us along with its
comments on a draft of this report, we evaluated the report to determine
whether it clearly stated the U.S. goals and program strategies for each of
the organizations. We took State’s prioritization into account in finalizing
this report.

To examine State’s efforts to keep the government’s assessed contribution
costs low, we studied the roles and responsibilities of key officials at State
and other affected federal agencies, State’s budget policies and
instructions to delegates, reports of meetings, and interviewed cognizant
agency officials. In seeking to determine which organizations executive
branch officials believe are more justified than others for continued
government membership and participation, we relied primarily on the
views of those government officials who had principal program
responsibility for or contact with the organizations. While these officials



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were generally supportive of the organizations, we also solicited the views
or opinions of independent experts and some who may have opposed
continued participation.

We discussed these issues with policy-oriented institutions in Washington,
D.C., including the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the
National Policy Forum, and the U.N. Association of the United States of
America in New York and Washington. We also reviewed congressional
documents and spoke with staff members of House and Senate
committees and offices to determine the congressional interest, concern,
and provisions that apply to U.S. participation in these organizations.
Since the review was aimed at executive branch management of U.S.
membership interests, we generally did not contact the organizations
directly—except in a few instances to obtain clarifying information. They
included the Bureau of International Expositions, the International Natural
Rubber Organization, the International Rubber Study Group, the World
Conservation Union, the International Cotton Advisory Committee, the
International Copper Study Group, and the International Lead and Zinc
Study Group. For the same reason, we did not interview officials of other
participating member states or interested private sector groups.

We performed our review between January and December 1996 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. We
did not independently verify or review the organizations’ budgets.
Appendix I provides supplemental background and assessment data on
each of the individual organizations. The State Department’s comments on
this report are shown in appendix II.


We are sending copies of this report to the Chairmen and Ranking
Minority Members of the Senate and House Committees on
Appropriations, the Senate and House Budget Committees, the Senate
Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the House Committee on
Government Reform and Oversight; the Secretaries of Agriculture,
Commerce, Health and Human Services, the Interior, State, and the
Treasury; the Permanent Representative of the United States of America to
the United Nations; the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International
Development; the Directors of the U.S. Information Agency and the Office
of Management and Budget; the U.S. Trade Representative; the Chairmen
of the Council of Economic Advisers and the Advisory Council on Historic
Preservation; and the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Copies will
be made available to others upon request.



Page 19                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
B-270707




Please contact me on (202) 512-4128 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report. Major contributors to this report were
LeRoy W. Richardson, Rolf A. Nilsson, and Edward D. Kennedy.

Sincerely yours,




Harold J. Johnson, Associate Director
International Relations and Trade Issues




Page 20                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
Page 21   GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
Contents



Letter                                                                                         1


Appendix I                                                                                    26
                    Bureau of International Expositions, Paris, France                        28
Additional          Customs Cooperation Council (known also as the World Customs              30
Information on 25      Organization), Brussels, Belgium
                    Hague Conference on Private International Law, the Hague, the             32
International          Netherlands
Organizations       Inter-American Indian Institute, Mexico City, Mexico                      34
                    International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France                 36
                    International Bureau for the Publication of Customs Tariffs,              38
                       Brussels, Belgium
                    International Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the           40
                       Hague, The Netherlands
                    International Bureau of Weights and Measures, Sevres, France              42
                    International Center for the Study of the Preservation and                44
                       Restoration of Cultural Property, Rome, Italy
                    International Copper Study Group, Lisbon, Portugal                        46
                    International Cotton Advisory Committee, Washington, D.C.                 48
                    International Grains Council (formerly the International Wheat            50
                       Council), London, England
                    International Hydrographic Organization, Monte Carlo, Monaco              52
                    International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, Rome,         54
                       Italy
                    International Lead and Zinc Study Group, London, England                  56
                    International Natural Rubber Organization, Kuala Lumpur,                  58
                       Malaysia
                    International Organization for Legal Metrology, Paris, France             60
                    International Office of Epizootics, Paris, France                         62
                    International Office of the Vine and Wine, Paris, France                  64
                    International Rubber Study Group, Wembley, England                        66
                    International Seed Testing Association, Zurich, Switzerland               68
                    International Tropical Timber Organization, Yokohama, Japan               70
                    International Union for the Conservation of Nature (also referred         72
                       to as the World Conservation Union), Gland, Switzerland
                    Interparliamentary Union, Geneva, Switzerland                             74
                    World Road Association, (formerly known as the Permanent                  76
                       International Association of Road Congresses/PIARC), Paris,
                       France




                    Page 22                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                      Contents




Appendix II                                                                                    78

Comments From the
Department of State
Tables                Table 1: Organizations, Assessed U.S. Dues for 1995, and                  3
                        Percentages of the U.S. Assessment and U.S. Professional Staff to
                        Organizational Totals
                      Table 2: Organizations in State’s Second Priority                         7
                        Category—Health, Safety, and Economic Well-being
                      Table 3: Organizations in State’s Third Priority                          7
                        Category—Selective Interest




                      Page 23                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
Contents




Abbreviations

BIE        Bureau of International Expositions
CCC        Customs Cooperation Council
HCOPIL     Hague Conference on Private International Law
IAII       Inter-American Indian Institute
IARC       International Agency for Research on Cancer
IBPCT      International Bureau for the Publication of Customs Tariffs
IBPCA      International Bureau of the Permanent Court of Arbitration
IBWM       International Bureau of Weights and Measures
ICCROM     International Center for the Study and Preservation and
                Restoration of Cultural Property
ICSG       International Copper Study Group
ICAC       International Cotton Advisory Committee
IGC        International Grains Council
IHO        International Hydrographic Organization
IIUPL      International Institute for the Unification of Private Law
ILZSG      International Lead and Zinc Study Group
INRO       International Natural Rubber Organization
IOLM       International Organization for Legal Metrology
IOE        International Office of Epizootics
IOVW       International Office of the Vine and Wine
IRSG       International Rubber Study Group
ISTA       International Seed Testing Association
ITTO       International Tropical Timber Organization
IUCN       International Union for the Conservation of Nature
IPU        Interparliamentary Union
NIST       National Institute of Standards and Technology
OAS        Organization of American States
PARCA      Pan American Railway Congress Association
UNESCO     United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural
                Organization
WCO        World Customs Organization
WHO        World Health Organization
WRA        World Road Association
WTO        World Tourism Organization


Page 24                                     GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
Page 25   GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
Appendix I

Additional Information on 25 International
Organizations

               This appendix provides supplemental data on the 25 international
               organizations covered in this study that received funds from the
               Department of State in 1995. The data was compiled from various sources,
               including State budget documents, reports submitted by the individual
               organizations, and interviews conducted with cognizant agency officials,
               and gives a brief discussion of significant issues that we observed in the
               course of our study. We did not prepare summary data sheets on the Pan
               American Railway Congress Association (PARCA) and the World Tourism
               Organization (WTO) because State had notified them as of December 1995
               that the United States would not continue its membership in them.




               Page 26                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
Appendix I
Additional Information on 25 International
Organizations




Page 27                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




Bureau of
International
Expositions, Paris,
France

Mission Objectives              To provide for orderly planning of international expositions by
                                establishing intervals between different types of expositions, reviewing
                                themes, and setting rules and requirements; and gives U.S. cities priority
                                consideration when bidding for Bureau of International Expositions
                                (BIE)-sanctioned events.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                            $369          0               2
                                U.S. contribution                                 $33          0               0
                                U.S. share (percent)                              8.9          0               0



Basis for and Initial Date of   Convention of International Expositions, ratified by the Senate on April 30,
U.S. Participation              1968. The United States began participation in 1968.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State; U.S.
                                Information Agency; Department of Commerce; Host U.S. cities and
                                chambers of commerce/major industrial exhibitors.


Benefits to the United          Helps to ensure that there will be no conflicts with and promotes
States                          increased foreign participation in U.S.-held expositions. Also, BIE
                                membership provides access to deciding where events will be held and
                                reductions in tariffs and various price concessions that defray the cost of
                                membership.


Exit Requirements               One year after date of receipt of withdrawal notification.

Significant Issues              While the U.S. contribution is modest, it pays the highest rate (8.9 percent)
                                of any member nation (followed by Japan and Germany at 8.1 percent and




                                Page 28                                         GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
Appendix I
Additional Information on 25 International
Organizations




four others at 4.5 percent). The assessment rate is based in part on the
U.N. scale of assessments and economic production. U.S. membership in
BIE lacks strong support in some quarters, but can be justified if the United
States officially supports and participates in world fairs. A joint resolution
passed by the Congress in December 1995 urged the United States to fully
participate in Expo ’98 in Lisbon, Portugal, and encouraged private sector
support for this undertaking.




Page 29                                        GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




Customs Cooperation
Council (known also
as the World Customs
Organization),
Brussels, Belgium

Mission Objectives              To obtain the highest possible degree of uniformity and harmony in and
                                between the customs systems of its members; to prepare draft
                                conventions and amendments; and to ensure uniform interpretation and
                                application of the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) convention, settle
                                disputes, circulate information, and provide advice to governments.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                                        Assessed           Extra       Professional
                                1995 resources                                            budget       budgetary               staff
                                Total                                                      $14,929         $6,793                58
                                                                                                                   a
                                U.S. contribution                                           $3,732           $428                 5
                                U.S. share (percent)                                             25              6.3            8.6
                                a
                                    Extra budgetary contribution includes $20,000 in tax reimbursement to CCC.




Basis for and Initial Date of   The United States acceded to the convention creating CCC on November 5,
U.S. Participation              1970, which was also the initial date of U.S. participation (treaty).

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureaus of International Organization Affairs and Economic and Business
                                Affairs, Department of State; Customs Bureau, Department of the
                                Treasury; Department of Commerce; and the U.S. Trade Representative.


Benefits to the United          Harmonization and simplification of customs procedures serve U.S.
States                          business interests by contributing to the creation of a stable and
                                predictable international trading environment for U.S exporters and
                                importers. This facilitates commerce while enhancing customs
                                enforcement, particularly in intellectual property rights, textile
                                transshipment, and drug smuggling.




                                Page 30                                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                     Appendix I
                     Additional Information on 25 International
                     Organizations




Exit Requirements    Withdrawal shall take effect 1 year after the receipt by the Belgian Ministry
                     of Foreign Affairs of the notification of withdrawal. The member shall pay
                     its full annual contribution for the financial year during which its notice of
                     withdrawal becomes effective.


Significant Issues   CCC is responsible for technical work related to several World Trade
                     Organization agreements. It harmonizes member states’ customs systems
                     and provides training and assistance on a variety of customs enforcement
                     issues. If the United States did not participate, it would lose these
                     benefits—adversely affecting U.S importers and exporters. Customs sees
                     no viable alternative to membership in CCC.




                     Page 31                                        GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




Hague Conference on
Private International
Law, the Hague, the
Netherlands

Mission Objectives              To facilitate private international legal transactions and relationships,
                                especially in the areas of family law, trusts and estates, and sales, through
                                law unification by multilateral treaties.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra    Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary            staff
                                Total                                          $1,309        $66                4
                                                                                                 a
                                U.S. contribution                                 $91        $10                1
                                U.S. share (percent)                              7.0        15.2              25
                                a
                                    Tax reimbursement.




Basis for and Initial Date of   Statute of the Hague Conference on Private International Law
U.S. Participation              (HCOPIL—1951), entered into force for (and participated in since by) the
                                United States, 1964.


Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of International Organization Affairs and Office of the Legal
                                Adviser, Department of State; Office of Foreign Litigation, Department of
                                Justice; the American Bar Association; the National Conference of
                                Commissioners on Uniform State Laws; the American Law Institute; and
                                other national legal organizations.


Benefits to the United          More predictable application of law to legal transactions and relationships
States                          that span international borders, resulting in fewer and easier resolutions of
                                disputes, and an improved business climate. HCOPIL facilitates service of
                                process abroad, eases intercountry adoption procedures, and lowers
                                insurance rates, among other things.




                                Page 32                                         GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                     Appendix I
                     Additional Information on 25 International
                     Organizations




Exit Requirements    At the expiration of the budget year ending June 30, provided that
                     notification of intent to withdraw has been received at least 6 months
                     before the end of that budget year.


Significant Issues   None.




                     Page 33                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




Inter-American Indian
Institute, Mexico City,
Mexico

Mission Objectives              To serve as a forum for developing information for member states to use
                                in planning for the economic, social, and cultural advancement of Indians.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                            $272          0               2
                                U.S. contribution                                $120          0               0
                                U.S. share (percent)                             44.1          0               0



Basis for and Initial Date of   November 1940 convention providing for creation of the Inter-American
U.S. Participation              Institute. The United States has been a member since 1941.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, Department of State; Bureau of Indian
                                Affairs, Department of the Interior; and tribal councils.


Benefits to the United          Provides a policy forum and access to informational resources to address
States                          priority issues of concern for Native Americans and their governments. It
                                has a substantial research library that is dedicated to indigenous issues.


Exit Requirements               One year notification required for withdrawal.

Significant Issues              The Institute has experienced management problems in the past,
                                prompting the State Department to acknowledge that it was poorly
                                managed. However, it is currently undergoing a major reform effort that
                                has been sought and encouraged by the United States. Consequently, the
                                State Department is taking a “watch-and-wait” approach toward continued
                                U.S. funding and participation. The U.S. assessment share (44.1 percent)
                                outpaces that of Mexico (30.3 percent) and all other participants by a
                                factor of at least 10 to 1. Canada is not a member of the Institute.




                                Page 34                                         GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
Appendix I
Additional Information on 25 International
Organizations




Page 35                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




International Agency
for Research on
Cancer, Lyon, France

Mission Objectives              To provide a scientific basis for adoption of effective measures to prevent
                                human cancer by identifying cancer-causing agents, assembling data on
                                cancer cases and environmental factors from around the world, analyzing
                                them, and disseminating data.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                         $17,902        N/Aa             48
                                U.S. contribution                              $1,643       $755               2
                                U.S. share (percent)                              9.2        N/A             4.2
                                a
                                    N/A = not available.




Basis for and Initial Date of   Public Law 92-484, approved October 14, 1972. The United States was one
U.S. Participation              of the five original participating members and has remained a member
                                since 1965.


Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State; the
                                National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health
                                Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and
                                Human Services; the American Cancer Society; numerous cancer research
                                agencies; and the general public.


Benefits to the United          Provides ability to draw upon cancer research materials and resources
States                          from all over the globe, including areas usually inaccessible to U.S.
                                officials. Brings together global experience on specific cancers and
                                relation to causes. The United States separately has provided
                                long-standing support for the International Agency for Research on Cancer
                                (IARC) research in evaluating potentially carcinogenic substances in society
                                and the workplace.




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Exit Requirements    Withdrawal effective 6 months after receipt of notification by the
                     Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).


Significant Issues   Enjoys strong U.S. agency and congressional support. Narrow functional
                     area (public affairs/literature dissemination) of possible overlap with WHO
                     is currently being addressed for possible consolidation. It has a relatively
                     small membership (16) that exerts budget pressure on organization but
                     seeks to encourage increased membership through lower introductory
                     charges. The United States, along with the United Kingdom, opposed
                     6.7 percent biennial budget increase adopted in April 1995.




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International Bureau
for the Publication of
Customs Tariffs,
Brussels, Belgium

Mission Objectives              To translate and publish the customs tariffs of member governments and
                                to disseminate this information to the members.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $2,047          0              17
                                U.S. contribution                                $120          0               0
                                U.S. share (percent)                              5.9          0               0



Basis for and Initial Date of   Authority is convention dated July 5, 1890 (26 Stat. 1518, TS 384). The
U.S. Participation              U.S.-assessed share shall not exceed 6 percent per Public Law 90-569.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Tariff translations are provided to the Department of Commerce; the
                                Customs Bureau, Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Trade
                                Representative; as well as to private importers and exporters
                                (administered by the bureaus of International Organization Affairs and
                                Economic and Business Affairs, Department of State).


Benefits to the United          The U.S. government and U.S. businesses benefit in having full information
States                          on foreign customs rates, regulations, and concessions obtained in
                                negotiations available in English. The International Bureau’s translations
                                provide a ready source of basic information needed for responding to
                                questions from businessmen, in particular, in connection with U.S. export
                                promotion programs, and for verifying foreign concessions obtained in
                                negotiations.


Exit Requirements               Per the convention, article 15, notice shall be given to the Belgian
                                government.




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Significant Issues   This is the only international organization that translates the individual
                     country tariff schedules into English. It is therefore important, primarily to
                     U.S. importers and exporters, that the U.S. government remain in this
                     international organization (membership is available only to governments).
                     WTO may at some time in the future provide this information, but the
                     International Bureau is the only organization that does so at the present
                     time.




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International Bureau
of the Permanent
Court of Arbitration,
the Hague, The
Netherlands

Mission Objectives              To provide the administrative framework to facilitate the arbitration of
                                international disputes and maintain a worldwide registry of jurists and
                                lawyers for selection to serve as needed on arbitration tribunals.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                            $328          0               5
                                U.S. contribution                                 $22          0               1
                                U.S. share (percent)                              6.7          0              20



Basis for and Initial Date of   Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, ratified by
U.S. Participation              the Senate, April 2, 1908. The United States has been a member of the
                                Permanent Court since 1899.


Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of International Organization Affairs and the Office of the Legal
                                Adviser, Department of State.


Benefits to the United          Provides expert and cost-effective means to settle international disputes.
States                          The United States uses its facilities, as it did to organize the Iran-U.S.
                                Claims Tribunal and in recent years to arbitrate a Heathrow Airport user
                                fee dispute with Great Britain.


Exit Requirements               One year following receipt of notification to withdraw.

Significant Issues              None.




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International Bureau
of Weights and
Measures, Sevres,
France

Mission Objectives              To cooperate with national scientific laboratories to ensure the
                                international standardization of basic metric and nonmetric units of
                                measure throughout the world. These standards have important bearings
                                upon the exchange of goods and knowledge between countries.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $9,054          0               61
                                U.S. contribution                                $924          0                2
                                U.S. share (percent)                              9.8          0             3.3



Basis for and Initial Date of   The United States has been a participant since a convention creating an
U.S. Participation              International Office of Weights and Measures was signed in May 1875.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State;
                                National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of
                                Commerce; and Physics and engineering academicians.


Benefits to the United          Provides access to a stable, accurate, and universally accepted system of
States                          measurement; promotes free trade; maintains and coordinates the world’s
                                time scale; and plays an influential role in the development of industrial
                                technology and international comparisons.


Exit Requirements               One year after receipt of notification of intent to withdraw. Forfeits right
                                of any joint ownership in international prototypes.


Significant Issues              The Bureau has a strong scientific orientation. It has tried unsuccessfully
                                over the years to branch into commercial applications—which is what




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gave rise to the International Organization for Legal Metrology’s
establishment. Effort to merge areas of common effort are being explored
at the instigation of the French government. NIST, the designated U.S.
national laboratory and a prime user of the Bureau’s services, provides
calibration services for industry users on a cost-recoverable basis.




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                                Organizations




International Center
for the Study of the
Preservation and
Restoration of
Cultural Property,
Rome, Italy

Mission Objectives              To serve as a research and training center and as a clearinghouse for the
                                exchange of information among specialists from around the world to
                                initiate, develop, promote, and facilitate conditions for the conservation
                                and restoration of cultural property.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $2,898      $1,649             19
                                U.S. contribution                                $725        $71               2
                                U.S. share (percent)                               25         4.3           10.5



Basis for and Initial Date of   Various public laws, January 1971.
U.S. Participation
Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State; the
                                Smithsonian Institution; the President’s Advisory Council on Historic
                                Preservation; the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and similar
                                organizations, museums, and universities.


Benefits to the United          Assists in important restorations/preservations, including the U.S. Capitol
States                          building and the Spanish missions of the American Southwest. Provides
                                various mid-career professionals and students access to highly specialized
                                instructional facilities and services not available elsewhere. Also, the
                                major stakeholders value what they consider to be unparalleled
                                connections made through the organization.




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Exit Requirements    One year following notification, provided its contribution payments are
                     current.


Significant Issues   U.S. contribution rate (25 percent) from the International Center’s scale of
                     assessments is based on 1 percent of the United Nations Educational
                     Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) appropriation, not to exceed
                     25 percent (which the United States pays). This rate is more than double
                     that of next highest participating country, Japan (12.38 percent). The
                     United States successfully rolled back proposed budget increases for the
                     1996-97 biennium when the U.S. delegation joined other member states in
                     approving the budget by consensus.




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International Copper
Study Group, Lisbon,
Portugal

Mission Objectives              To foster market transparency by collecting and publishing reliable data
                                on copper production, consumption, and trade without intervening in
                                markets. The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) also provides a
                                forum for governmental consultations and supports special studies of
                                market trends, new technologies, and government policies affecting the
                                copper industry.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                            $654          0               3
                                U.S. contribution                                 $63          0               1
                                U.S. share (percent)                              9.6          0            33.3



Basis for and Initial Date of   Authority is Public Law 103-236. The United States accepted the terms of
U.S. Participation              reference of ICSG on March 15, 1990. ICSG was established on January 23,
                                1992.


Major U.S. Stakeholders         The International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce; the
                                bureaus of International Organization Affairs and Economic and Business
                                Affairs, Department of State; and the U.S. mining industry.


Benefits to the United          Increased market transparency enables a competitive market to avoid
States                          large fluctuations in price and promotes a better balance between supply
                                and demand (large price fluctuations have traditionally plagued the copper
                                market). It has helped “lift the veil” of the copper industry in the former
                                Soviet Union, which was of significant interest to U.S. industry. It aids
                                members with effective forecasting and long-term planning.


Exit Requirements               A member may withdraw 60 days after written notice is given to the
                                United Nations and the ICSG’s Secretary-General.



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Significant Issues   ICSG was negotiated at U.S. urging to provide better information to prevent
                     market instability, as happened in the 1980s. It primarily benefits the
                     copper industry, but the data provided and the intergovernmental
                     consultation are useful to U.S. agencies, including the Commerce and
                     Defense Departments. ICSG has financed research on potential health
                     problems associated with copper in drinking water. ICSG publications are
                     available for sale to anyone, not just to member countries.




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International Cotton
Advisory Committee,
Washington, D.C.

Mission Objectives              To compile and publish statistics on cotton production, trade,
                                consumption, and prices; and to facilitate the exchange of information and
                                the development of more open lines of communication among scientific
                                workers to better understand research problems.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed        Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget    budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $1,170         N/Aa                7
                                U.S. contribution                                $127        $111b                2
                                U.S. share (percent)                              10.9        N/A               28.6
                                a
                                    N/A = not available.
                                b
                                    Tax reimbursement.




Basis for and Initial Date of   Authority is 70 Stat. 890, 1956, 5 U.S.C. 170j. (P.L. 94-350, July 12, 1976.)
U.S. Participation              Initial date of participation was 1939.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         The Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of Agriculture; the bureaus
                                of International Organization Affairs and Economic and Business Affairs,
                                Department of State; and the U.S. textile industry.


Benefits to the United          The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) provides cotton price
States                          analyses and projections to the international cotton community,
                                something the Department of Agriculture is prohibited from doing. The
                                U.S. cotton industry supports continued membership in ICAC and regularly
                                attends ICAC plenary meetings.


Exit Requirements               Member may withdraw by providing written notification before a new
                                fiscal year (July 1).




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Significant Issues   Although State announced the U.S. intention in December 1995 to
                     withdraw from ICAC effective on June 30, 1996, the Federal Agriculture
                     Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127) required the President
                     to ensure that the U.S. government participate in ICAC and State to
                     continue to pay the assessed contribution. As a result, State rescinded its
                     letter of intent to withdraw from the organization, and the United States
                     will remain in ICAC. ICAC publications are available for sale to anyone, not
                     just to member countries.




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International Grains
Council (formerly the
International Wheat
Council), London,
England

Mission Objectives              To promote expansion of international trade in grains and secure the
                                freest possible flow of this trade, and to provide a forum for the exchange
                                of information and discussion of members’ concerns regarding trade in
                                grains. Through the Food Aid Committee, donors pledge food aid in the
                                form of grain, which some members buy from the United States.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $2,169          0               7
                                U.S. contribution                                $373          0               0
                                U.S. share (percent)                             17.2          0               0



Basis for and Initial Date of   The current authority for U.S. participation is Senate advice and consent
U.S. Participation              to the International Wheat Agreement of 1986, on November 17, 1987.
                                Initial U.S. participation was in 1942.


Major U.S. Stakeholders         The Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of Agriculture; and U.S.
                                grain growers; the bureaus of International Organization Affairs and
                                Economic and Business Affairs, Department of State; and the U.S. Agency
                                for International Development.


Benefits to the United          The United States, as the world’s largest exporter of grains, benefits from
States                          the expansion of international trade and from securing the freest possible
                                flow of this trade. The United States also benefits from having the most
                                reliable international data on the grains trade, including data provided by
                                other countries, which would not otherwise be available.




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Exit Requirements    There are no specific provisions for withdrawal. Not acceding to the next
                     convention, which will take effect in 1998, would be a way of withdrawing.


Significant Issues   The International Grains Council (IGC) is considering soliciting more
                     private sector participation to relieve budget problems, but some
                     countries fear for the integrity of the organization if industry interests are
                     included. The U.S. government’s assessed share increased to 23.6 percent
                     in 1996 because a new convention was negotiated that includes all grains
                     and uses more recent data for calculating assessments. IGC publications
                     are sold to anyone.




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International
Hydrographic
Organization, Monte
Carlo, Monaco

Mission Objectives              To establish a close and permanent association with the hydrographic
                                offices of member states, with a view to rendering navigation easier and
                                safer throughout the world.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $2,033          0               7
                                U.S. contribution                                 $91          0               1
                                U.S. share (percent)                              4.5          0            14.3



Basis for and Initial Date of   International hydrographic convention, approved by the Senate, May 13,
U.S. Participation              1968 (treaty). The United States has been a participant since 1922.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State;
                                National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of
                                Commerce; the U.S. Coast Guard; U.S. Geological Survey; National
                                Imagery and Mapping Agency; (formerly Defense Mapping Agency); the
                                U.S. petroleum industry; and oceanographic and academic institutions.


Benefits to the United          Through the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), the United
States                          States obtains high-quality hydrographic survey and chart data that is
                                essential for safe navigation at sea, promotes trade, and reduces the threat
                                of environmental damage from ship groundings. IHO’s President is a retired
                                U.S. admiral.


Exit Requirements               One year following the date of notification.

Significant Issues              None.




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International Institute
for the Unification of
Private Law, Rome,
Italy

Mission Objectives              To unify or harmonize private law in different countries, thereby
                                facilitating international commerce and removing obstacles created by
                                unnecessary conflicts in law and legal systems; and providing training in
                                the adoption and use of approved international conventions by less
                                developed countries.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $1,745        $58               9
                                U.S. contribution                                $108          0               0
                                U.S. share                                        6.2          0               0



Basis for and Initial Date of   Initially established in 1926 under the League of Nations; present charter
U.S. Participation              in effect since 1940. The United States has been a member and active
                                participant since 1964.


Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of International Organization Affairs and Office of the Legal
                                Adviser, Department of State; Office of Foreign Litigation, Department of
                                Justice; the American Bar Association; National Conference on
                                Commissioners on Uniform State Laws; National Law Center for
                                Inter-American Free Trade; American Law Institute; and other national
                                legal organizations.


Benefits to the United          Provides an important forum to ensure that U.S. commercial law and other
States                          legal interests are key source for international work on law unification,
                                and that U.S. commercial practices are reflected in and protected under
                                treaties and other documents produced in this process.




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Exit Requirements    Participation is for a period of 6 years. Intent to withdraw must be
                     submitted in writing at least 1 year preceding the end of the current 6-year
                     period (which expires in 1999).


Significant Issues   Two conventions prepared by the Institute on international commercial
                     law reflecting modern U.S. practice are expected to be submitted to the
                     Senate in 1997. The Institute is also drafting a multilateral convention
                     expected to benefit the U.S. aircraft and other industries.




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International Lead
and Zinc Study Group,
London, England

Mission Objectives              To improve transparency in the lead and zinc world markets by producing
                                and disseminating a wide variety of current statistics; to provide for an
                                intergovernmental forum for consultations on international trade in lead
                                and zinc; and to hold discussions of market trends, new technologies,
                                government policies, and environmental issues.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                            $771          0               4
                                U.S. contribution                                 $53          0               0
                                U.S. share (percent)                              6.9          0               0



Basis for and Initial Date of   Authority is 22 U.S.C. 2672, sec. 5 of Public Law 885, 84th Congress. U.S.
U.S. Participation              participation started in 1960.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce; the
                                bureaus of International Organization Affairs and Economic and Business
                                Affairs, Department of State; and the U.S. mining industry.


Benefits to the United          It produces a wide variety of statistics, assisting in effective forecasting
States                          and long-range planning. These statistics are important to the operation of
                                a competitive market, which should ensure the lowest possible prices to
                                the U.S. consumer. Annual meetings provide a forum for
                                industry/government contacts and discussion of concerns without political
                                agendas or market intervention measures.


Exit Requirements               A member may withdraw at any time by written notification to the
                                Secretary-General. The withdrawal takes effect on the date specified in the
                                notification.




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Significant Issues   Membership in this organization appears to be more important to industry
                     than to the U.S. government. The State Department considers this
                     organization to be a model for similar organizations for other
                     commodities. Publications are available to anyone. It also reports on
                     environmental rules concerning lead and other environmental issues.




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International Natural
Rubber Organization,
Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia

Mission Objectives              To manages an international natural rubber agreement designed to
                                stabilize price fluctuations and rubber supplies through maintenance of a
                                buffer stock in a historically volatile market.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $1,964          0               8
                                U.S. contribution                                $297          0               1
                                U.S. share                                       15.1          0            12.5



Basis for and Initial Date of   Successive international rubber agreements, first entered into force in
U.S. Participation              1980.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureaus of International Organization Affairs and Economic and Business
                                Affairs, Department of State; Department of the Treasury; and Department
                                of Commerce; the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; and domestic
                                tire, rubber, steel, and labor industries.


Benefits to the United          With the United States as the world’s largest consumer of rubber products
States                          and rubber production being concentrated in three Southeast Asian
                                countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand), certain assurances are
                                sought through an international agreement that attempts to stabilize
                                natural rubber prices without disturbing long-term market trends and
                                ensure expanded future supplies of natural rubber at reasonable prices.


Exit Requirements               Agreement of 1987 has expired and a new 4-year extension has been
                                negotiated. Under terms of old (and new) agreements, withdrawal
                                permitted upon 1 year’s written notice.




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Significant Issues   This is the only commodity agreement with economic provisions in which
                     the United States currently participates. Extension of the agreement
                     enjoys strong industry and congressional support, but it has not shown
                     that it reduces long-term price variability or benefits U.S. consumers.
                     Keeping a substantial sum (currently valued at $80 million) of U.S. funds
                     with the International National Rubber Organization (INRO) or under
                     foreign bank management (i.e., no direct U.S. control of the funds) to
                     support a buffer stock operation under the agreement continues to be an
                     unresolved issue.




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International
Organization for Legal
Metrology, Paris,
France

Mission Objectives              To recommend adoption of uniform international legal standards and
                                requirements and provide an information exchange for scientific and
                                measurement instruments that are used in commerce and industry.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $1,254          0               5
                                U.S. contribution                                $110          0               1
                                U.S. share (percent)                              8.8          0              20



Basis for and Initial Date of   Convention on legal metrology, as amended. The United States first
U.S. Participation              participated in 1972.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State; NIST,
                                Department of Commerce; and U.S. measuring instrument manufacturers.


Benefits to the United          Uniform standards for measuring products in trade, public health, safety,
States                          and many other industries are considered essential for their public
                                acceptance and confidence. Also vital for the protection of the
                                import/export industries.


Exit Requirements               International conferences/conventions are required once every 6 years but
                                recently have been held every 4 years. Intention to withdraw must be
                                made known at least 6 months in advance of expiration of the current
                                convention/budget adoption (November 2000).


Significant Issues              A merger of operations with the International Bureau of Weights and
                                Measures has been proposed by the French government. A working group




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is currently studying areas of common effort/interest with the objective of
reducing costs and sharpening global focus.




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International Office of
Epizootics, Paris,
France

Mission Objectives              To collect and disseminate to government veterinary services facts and
                                documents concerning the course and cure of animal diseases; to examine
                                international disease control agreements and assist in their enforcement;
                                and to promote disease research.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $3,297       $519               5
                                U.S. contribution                                 $88         $4               1
                                U.S. share (percent)                              2.7         0.7             20



Basis for and Initial Date of   Senate approval, and presidential signature on June 9, 1975, of the original
U.S. Participation              international agreement. Initial U.S. participation was in May 1976.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Department of Agriculture;
                                the bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State; U.S.
                                Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; veterinary medicine; and the
                                meat and poultry industries.


Benefits to the United          The International Office of Epizootics (IOE) is a valuable channel for
States                          dissemination of U.S. research findings and helps apprise the United States
                                of overseas research and animal infection developments. U.S. involvement
                                allows the United States to have a prominent voice in developing
                                international trade standards and regulations and conform them to U.S.
                                standards. These standards help make trade without fear possible in this
                                area. As the only international animal health forum in the world, IOE will
                                set animal trade standards for the WTO. It also serves as an early warning
                                system for animal disease outbreaks.


Exit Requirements               Written notice given 1 year in advance of intention to withdraw.




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                     Additional Information on 25 International
                     Organizations




Significant Issues   If the United States were to withdraw, standards would be set without U.S.
                     participation and in the future might not conform to U.S. standards. This
                     could greatly affect public health and industries that import and export
                     U.S. animal livestock and animal products.




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                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




International Office of
the Vine and Wine,
Paris, France

Mission Objectives              To study wine and its production methods, packaging and labeling
                                standards, and associated marketing practices with the object of ensuring
                                product integrity and harmonizing regulatory requirements in the
                                international wine trade.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                          $1,144          0              14
                                U.S. contribution                                 $55          0               0
                                U.S. share (percent)                              4.8          0               0



Basis for and Initial Date of   Public Law 98-545 of October 25, 1984 (98 Stat., 2752). The United States
U.S. Participation              began its participation in 1980. Its request for full membership was
                                accepted on July 24, 1984.


Major U.S. Stakeholders         The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Department of the
                                Treasury; the bureaus of International Organization Affairs and Economic
                                and Business Affairs, Department of State; U.S. vintners; and the California
                                Winegrowers Association.


Benefits to the United          The International Office of the Vine and Wine (IOVW) facilitates the global
States                          dissemination of information on the U.S. wine industry, thereby helping
                                promote U.S. wine, brandy, and viticultural exports. It also aids in
                                promoting product integrity, therefore helping to protect public health
                                worldwide. Finally, intergovernmental channels of communication have
                                helped to expedite resolution of international incidents involving trade
                                impediments, contamination, and marketing fraud.


Exit Requirements               Any member may withdraw after giving 6 months’ notice.




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                      Appendix I
                      Additional Information on 25 International
                      Organizations




Significant Issues:   If the United States were to withdraw, both U.S. industry and consumer
                      protection interests will be left unrepresented. IOVW’s deliberations have
                      significant trade consequences. Differences in acceptable production
                      techniques (which can hinder or promote market access), primarily
                      between European and U.S. wine makers; sanitary practices; labeling; and
                      the presence of chemical products are the subject of IOVW standards. IOVW
                      is petitioning for WTO recognition, which could make the IOVW’s resolutions
                      binding (they are now optional) and backed by the WTO’s enforcement
                      powers.




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                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




International Rubber
Study Group,
Wembley, England

Mission Objectives              To promote the understanding of long-term trends in future rubber
                                (natural and synthetic) production and consumption, provide accurate
                                statistics, and promote research. It also serves as a forum for consultation
                                among principal producing and consuming countries.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                            $780          0               4
                                U.S. contribution                                 $92          0               0
                                U.S. share (percent)                             11.8          0               0



Basis for and Initial Date of   Authority is 22 U.S.C. 2672, sec. 5 of Public Law 885, 84th Congress. Initial
U.S. Participation              date of U.S. participation was 1944.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureaus of International Organization Affairs and Economic and Business
                                Affairs, Department of State; International Trade Administration,
                                Department of Commerce; and the U.S. rubber industry.


Benefits to the United          Quick dissemination of technical information on supply and demand
States                          promotes U.S. competitiveness. Information on market trends is important
                                to the United States as the world’s largest rubber consumer. Also, the U.S.
                                contribution leverages contributions from other members. The result is
                                greater market transparency and efficiency, directly benefiting U.S.
                                industry and consumers. The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) also
                                provides information on worldwide investment opportunities/new
                                technologies.


Exit Requirements               Withdrawal within the first 6 months of the financial year, which starts on
                                July 1, becomes effective at year’s end (effectively 6 months’ notice). If




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                     Appendix I
                     Additional Information on 25 International
                     Organizations




                     withdrawal occurs within the second half, dues for the following year
                     must still be paid (18 months’ notice).


Significant Issues   Membership in this organization appears more important to industry than
                     to the U.S. government since it is industry that primarily uses the statistics
                     provided by IRSG for long-range planning and projections. However, the
                     U.S. government does use the information provided for planning and
                     intergovernmental consultation purposes. Publications are available for
                     sale to anyone, not just member countries.




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                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




International Seed
Testing Association,
Zurich, Switzerland

Mission Objectives              To develop official rules for testing seed sold in international trade, to
                                accredit laboratories that issue international seed lot quality certificates,
                                and to promote seed research and technology.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed        Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget    budgetary           staff
                                Total                                            $368            0              3
                                U.S. contribution                                 $11            0              0
                                U.S. share (percent)                               3.0           0              0



Basis for and Initial Date of   Basis for participation is 70 Stat. 890, 1956, 5 U.S.C.170j. Initial date of U.S.
U.S. Participation              participation was 1924.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture; the bureaus of
                                International Organization Affairs and Economic and Business Affairs,
                                Department of State; U.S. agrobusiness; and U.S. land grant colleges.


Benefits to the United          Membership in the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) ensures
States                          that U.S. seed exporters have access to, and are competitive in, world
                                markets through the use of approved uniform testing methods.
                                Membership allows the United States to maintain its influence over the
                                establishment of standards. It also ensures that high-quality imported seed
                                is available to U.S. consumers and that U.S. testing facilities are accepted
                                worldwide as meeting international standards.


Exit Requirements               A government may withdraw by sending written notice to ISTA, but it will
                                be responsible for its dues for that entire calendar year unless
                                withdrawing because of a change in the ISTA constitution. Then the
                                withdrawing government is responsible for its dues up to the change.




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                     Additional Information on 25 International
                     Organizations




Significant Issues   Membership allows the United States to take part in the process of
                     developing official procedures used to test seed sold in international trade.
                     Withdrawal would deny the U.S. government the opportunity to block
                     proposed international testing rules that could function as trade barriers
                     to U.S. seed. ISTA generates about 40 percent of its operating funds from
                     the sale of goods and services it produces. If ISTA allows additional labs to
                     join as nonvoting members, as was proposed, it could result in lower
                     U.S.-assessed dues.




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                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




International Tropical
Timber Organization,
Yokohama, Japan

Mission Objectives              To increase transparency of the tropical timber market, promote
                                sustainable management of tropical production forests, and promote
                                research and development aimed at improving the sustainable
                                management of tropical forests.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                                       Assessed           Extra      Professional
                                1995 resources                                           budget       budgetary              staff
                                Total                                                      $4,068        $15,960                     14
                                U.S. contribution                                            $112         $1,177a                     1
                                U.S. share (percent)                                           2.8             7.4               7.1
                                a
                                 U.S. extra budgetary contribution includes $55,000 in tax reimbursement to International Tropical
                                Timber Organization (ITTO).




Basis for and Initial Date of   International Tropical Timber Agreement of 1983, signed by the United
U.S. Participation              States on April 26, 1985.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; bureaus of Economic and
                                Business Affairs, International Organization Affairs, and Oceans and
                                International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Department of State;
                                Forest Service and Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of
                                Agriculture; and International Trade Administration, Department of
                                Commerce.


Benefits to the United          Improve availability of market information for U.S. importers of tropical
States                          timber for furniture, paneling, and other wood products. Also, ITTO
                                identification of markets for lesser-known species promotes better
                                utilization of resources and provides consumers with greater variety,
                                which helps keep consumer costs down. The United States participates in
                                ITTO’s voluntary program, but its contribution is expected to decrease to
                                $200,000 from about $1 million annually.




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                     Appendix I
                     Additional Information on 25 International
                     Organizations




Exit Requirements    A member may withdraw 90 days after written notice is received by the
                     United Nations (notice must also be given simultaneously to the ITTO
                     council).


Significant Issues   U.S. officials believe issues discussed in ITTO, such as certification and
                     labeling of wood products, apply to wood products from all types of
                     forests including temperate forests. They believe that decisions on these
                     issues could have a significant impact upon the global competitiveness of
                     the U.S. timber industry. The United States also has a strong interest in
                     promoting the sustainable management of tropical forests through ITTO
                     because of the relationship of tropical forests to global environmental
                     problems.




                     Page 71                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




International Union
for the Conservation
of Nature (also
referred to as the
World Conservation
Union), Gland,
Switzerland

Mission Objectives              The leader in influencing, encouraging, and assisting governments and
                                nongovernmental organizations throughout the world to conserve the
                                integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural
                                resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra     Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary             staff
                                Total                                          $5,146     $40,000               67
                                                                                             (est.)
                                U.S. contribution                                $286           0                6
                                U.S. share (percent)                              5.6           0              9.0



Basis for and Initial Date of   State Department Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991
U.S. Participation              (P.L. 101-246).

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureaus of International Organization Affairs and Oceans and
                                International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Department of State;
                                Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service, Department of the Interior;
                                U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture; National Oceanic and
                                Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce; Environmental
                                Protection Agency; the U.S. Agency for International Development; and
                                various environmental organizations.


Benefits to the United          Supports U.S. goals for the maintenance of a healthy, natural global
States                          environment and conservation of biological diversity. Supports
                                international conservation conventions of importance to the United States.




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                     Additional Information on 25 International
                     Organizations




                     Provides a unique forum for the coordination of governmental and
                     nongovernmental conservation efforts regarding the use of natural
                     resources and leveraged assistance to international networks of volunteer
                     scientists and specialists.


Exit Requirements    Any time, upon receipt of written notification.

Significant Issues   Modest assessed contribution is highly leveraged since the International
                     Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) receives about 90 percent of
                     its funding from various contribution sources other than assessed
                     membership dues. Comparatively small (nine) “state” membership
                     provides about 40 percent of IUCN’s assessed budget. In addition to its
                     assessed contribution, the United States provided a voluntary contribution
                     in the amount of $1 million in fiscal year 1995 to support programs of
                     particular interest.




                     Page 73                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




Interparliamentary
Union, Geneva,
Switzerland

Mission Objectives              To be the focal point for worldwide parliamentary dialogue and to works
                                closely with the United Nations for peace and cooperation among peoples
                                and the firm establishment of representative institutions. The
                                Interparliamentary Union (IPU) is comprised of the world’s parliamentary
                                bodies.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                                           Assessed           Extra      Professional
                                1995 resources                                               budget       budgetary              staff
                                Total                                                          $7,988             N/Aa             16
                                U.S. contribution                                              $1,096                0              2
                                U.S. share (percent)                                            14.12b               0           12.5
                                a
                                    N/A = not available.
                                b
                                    Current authorizing legislation limits U.S. assessment to 13.61 percent of IPU’s budget.




Basis for and Initial Date of   Various public laws. United States has been a member since the first
U.S. Participation              meeting in 1889.

Major U.S. Stakeholders         Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State; the
                                Clerk of the House of Representatives; and the Secretary of the Senate,
                                Parliamentary Services.


Benefits to the United          Promotes personal contact and dialogue between members of the world’s
States                          parliamentary bodies—especially emerging democracies—in a formal,
                                secure, but neutral structure to discuss legislative functions and relations
                                and universal values, peace, and cooperation.


Exit Requirements               No withdrawal provision cited.




                                Page 74                                                          GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                     Appendix I
                     Additional Information on 25 International
                     Organizations




Significant Issues   U.S. participation in IPU is within the provenance of the Congress and not a
                     matter for executive branch decision-making. Responsibility shifts each
                     Congress and now rests with the House of Representatives (administered
                     by the Clerk). IPU has sought to raise the U.S. assessment from
                     12.58 percent to 15 percent, or above the statutory limitation. No Senator
                     has attended any IPU meeting since 1989. No Member of the House has
                     attended any IPU meeting since March 1994. IPU funding was temporarily
                     suspended in December 1995—but subsequently approved—pending IPU
                     reversal of the assessment increase and adjustment of its meeting
                     schedule to better accommodate U.S. participation (meetings are normally
                     scheduled at times when the Congress is in session).




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                                Appendix I
                                Additional Information on 25 International
                                Organizations




World Road
Association, (formerly
known as the
Permanent
International
Association of Road
Congresses/PIARC),
Paris, France

Mission Objectives              To analyze road and road transport policy issues as an aid to national
                                decisionmakers, to encourage research and exchange of information on
                                research results and best practices, to disseminate findings, and to address
                                the concerns of all members.


                                Dollars in thousands
                                                                             Assessed       Extra   Professional
                                1995 resources                                 budget   budgetary           staff
                                Total                                            $353       $400               3
                                U.S. contribution                                 $20       $136               0
                                U.S. share (percent)                              5.6        34.0              0



Basis for and Initial Date of   Authority is sec. 164, Public Law 102-138, approved October 28, 1991. The
U.S. Participation              United States regained membership in the World Road Association (WRA)
                                (it lapsed during World War II) in November 1989. Original justification of
                                22 U.S.C. sec. 269 (44 stat. 754, June 18, 1926) is still valid.


Major U.S. Stakeholders         Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation, and U.S.
                                construction companies.


Benefits to the United          WRA, as the only intergovernmental forum for road issues, has provided
States                          ready access to innovations developed abroad that can be applied in the
                                United States. Significant savings accrue to the United States because
                                other countries share their research with the U.S. government through
                                WRA. Also, the U.S. government and industry can increase international




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                     Additional Information on 25 International
                     Organizations




                     awareness of U.S. technical expertise for the purpose of encouraging the
                     export of U.S. goods and services, making U.S. businesses more
                     competitive overseas.


Exit Requirements    WRA’s governing commission accepts resignations based on convention
                     provisions.


Significant Issues   The American Association of State Highway and Transportation officials
                     pays about one-third of the U.S.-assessed contribution, which the federal
                     government would otherwise have to pay. The Federal Highway
                     Administration pays for extra budgetary projects and, beginning in fiscal
                     year 1997, it will pay the U.S. government-assessed contribution.




                     Page 77                                      GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
Appendix II

Comments From the Department of State


Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in the
report text appear at the
end of this appendix.




                             Page 78   GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                           Appendix II
                           Comments From the Department of State




Now on pp. 4, 5, and 17.

See comment 1.




Now on p. 6.




Now on p. 5.




                           Page 79                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                 Appendix II
                 Comments From the Department of State




Now on p. 4.

See comment 2.




Now on p. 17.

See comment 3.




Now on p. 7.

See comment 4.


Now on p. 8.

See comment 4.




                 Page 80                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
                 Appendix II
                 Comments From the Department of State




Now on p. 15.

See comment 5.


Now on p. 9.

See comment 6.




Now on p. 7.

See comment 4.




Now on p. 16.

See comment 7.




                 Page 81                                 GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
               Appendix II
               Comments From the Department of State




               The following are GAO’s comments on the Department of State’s letter
               dated December 20, 1996.


               1. We acknowledged in our draft report that State had conducted a
GAO Comments   comprehensive review in 1995 to determine whether international
               organizations served important U.S. interests and whether continued U.S.
               membership in them was warranted. However, because the results of this
               effort were not (1) formally documented in State’s records; (2) made
               available to us; or (3) reported to the Congress at the time of our review,
               we could not assess the completeness of State’s evaluation.

               2. We agree that the basis for the decision to withdraw from certain
               organizations was within the range of criteria that State announced in
               May 1996 and, therefore, have modified our report.

               3. Because we believe that State’s December 1996 report to the Congress is
               a step in the right direction, we are not making any recommendations at
               this time. (We have not reprinted attachment A, state’s December 1996
               report.)

               4. In finalizing this report, we categorized the organizations in accordance
               with the broad priority categories used in State’s December 1996 report to
               the Congress, rather than be whether the organizations served a “broad” or
               “narrow” interest.

               5. We have clarified our report language.

               6. While we do not doubt that ICCROM is a unique organization that provides
               valuable benefits to some U.S. agencies, some U.S. government officials
               have questioned whether the cost of belonging to this organization may
               not be disproportionately high when weighed against the national interest.

               7. We revised the report to reflect this information; however, we believe
               that there are some areas of overlap between these organizations.




(711166)       Page 82                                       GAO/NSIAD-97-35 State Department
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