To a casual observer, it may not have seemed like much. But in terms of UNESCO tradition it was close to revolutionary and reflected a new attitude by many Third World delegates to swallow their pride and try to please the British and delegates of other industrialized countries in hopes of saving UNESCO.
[M'Bow] is now regarded as certain to stay in office until his term ends at the end of 1987. The great fear within UNESCO is that if Britain-followed by Japan, Holland, West Germany and Denmark-follows the U.S. lead and walks out, the agency could be dead.
The U.S. government pulled out of UNESCO after accusing it of mismanagement and of involving itself in political issues like disarmament. American newspapers supported the Reagan Administration's move, partly out of irritation over years of UNESCO encouragement of a so-called new world information order that many Americans believed would hamper the work of foreign correspondents.