Viewing cable 05ROME2308
Title: IDLO ASSEMBLY OF STATES MEETING: JUNE 28, 2005

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05ROME23082005-07-11 12:08:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Rome
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS  ROME 002308 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
FROM THE U.S. MISSION TO THE UN AGENCIES IN ROME 
 
IO/S FOR LISA SPRATT AND IO/EDA FOR SHARON KOTOK 
USAID FOR GC/HAIMAN 
CAIRO FOR USAID DIRECTOR 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: EAID AORC KJUS KISL IDLO
SUBJECT: IDLO ASSEMBLY OF STATES MEETING: JUNE 28, 2005 
 
¶1. Summary: the International Development Law 
Organization (IDLO) held its triennial Assembly of States 
meeting on June 28.  Among the resolutions and 
recommendations adopted, one changed the frequency of 
meetings to biennial vice triennial, while another called 
upon member states to examine the possibility of regular 
contributions to the core budget of the organization. 
France was elected chair of the next Assembly (2007). 
End summary. 
 
¶2. The International Development Law Organization held 
its triennial Assembly of States meeting on June 28.  The 
meeting, held on the premises of the Food & Agriculture 
Organization (FAO), was attended by 17 of the 18 member 
states.  After the adoption of the agenda, opening 
addresses were given by the Chair of the Assembly 
(Austria), the Chair of the Board of Directors (a retired 
AmCit lawyer) and by IDLO Director General William (Bill) 
Loris.  Included in the morning session was a review of 
an external evaluation of IDLO, carried out in 2004 by a 
Swedish management consultant and a Norwegian law 
professor and based on a 2004 request of NORAD (Norwegian 
aid agency) and SIDA (Swedish aid agency). 
 
¶3. The idea behind the evaluation was to "assess the 
relevance and quality" of IDLO programs with a view 
toward providing a basis for the future direction of the 
organization.  Basic conclusions were that IDLO has been 
expanding for the last few years and needs to do a better 
job of defining itself, its 'market' and what it wants to 
accomplish.  That type of focus adds the benefit of 
making the organization more attractive to potential 
donors.  Loris responded to the evaluation in his 
presentation of IDLO's strategy paper for the years 2005 
 ¶2007.  IDLO has already made some strides through 
strategic planning and a SWOT analysis, Loris said.  They 
will continue to concentrate on rule of law issues, good 
governance and other goals of the Millennium Declaration, 
specifically judicial reform, business, commercial and 
financial law, and public international trade and 
intellectual property law.  IDLO will also focus on how 
to channel the organization's strengths and intellectual 
expertise through the use of other "delivery mechanisms" 
(distance learning, etc.) thereby expanding their reach 
and reputation.  Naturally, Loris said, this will take 
resources in addition to strategic planning, in order to 
build an efficient and effective infrastructure. 
 
¶4. The presentation of the organization's finances 
provided a picture of expansion, both in revenues as well 
as expenses.  The overall budget for 2005 is 
approximately seven million dollars.  Revenues exceeded 
expenses for the three years 2002  2004, but IDLO will 
show a slight deficit for 2005.  The deficit does not 
take into account any spending from the endowment fund, 
currently valued at about 15 million dollars (the 
endowment received a hefty $2 million donation in 2004 
from the Gates Foundation).  Revenues continue to grow as 
do expenses as the organization expands its mission. 
About two thirds of the revenues are program-specific, 
with about one-third unrestricted.  That balance and the 
organization's perceived need for more core 
(unrestricted) funding were emphasized during the budget 
presentation and throughout the day (see para 6 below 
regarding the Italian proposal for assessed 
contributions).  IDLO will also continue to solicit 
donations from both inside and outside government 
(including individuals and corporations). 
 
¶5. The Assembly adopted three resolutions calling on IDLO 
to focus its efforts in support of the Millennium 
Declaration (including USDEL-suggested wording changes 
which put the focus on the Declaration rather than the 
unadopted Millennium Development Goals); calling on the 
UN to seek ways to cooperate with IDLO and take advantage 
of the organization's expertise; and calling on IDLO to 
report the details of all non-governmental contributions. 
A fourth resolution was adopted which increases the 
frequency of Assembly meetings from once every three 
years to once every two years.  The Assembly briefly 
debated a French proposal for annual meetings before 
deciding on a biennial approach (USDEL supported biennial 
meetings).  The Assembly also adopted four 
recommendations: laying out a set of principles for legal 
and technical assistance; expressing support for IDLO 
alumni associations; encouraging states to become member 
nations of IDLO; and encouraging Egyptian and Australian 
support for the IDLO training centers in Cairo and 
 
Sydney. 
 
¶6. Finally, the Assembly adopted two declarations.  The 
first was simply an expression of thanks to IDLO 
supporters.  The second, a late addition from the Italian 
delegation, was a proposal for member states to study the 
possibility of regular, assessed contributions.  The 
draft included a categorization table ranging from a 
minimum contribution of less than 100,000 euros for some 
states to a maximum of over 500,000.  USDEL, supported by 
Australia and others, spoke against the proposal and 
reiterated U.S. support of program-specific funding while 
recognizing the valuable work of the organization. 
Compromise language was eventually agreed on, deleting 
the entire second article of the declaration (which 
contained the categorization table) and asking only that 
states 'examine the possibility' of making a regular 
contribution to IDLO, something that the Department is 
already doing. 
 
¶7. France, the only candidate, was elected Chair of the 
next Assembly in 2007.  Georgia was admitted as a new 
member state. 
 
¶8. Comment: given the importance now given in the 
development community to rule of law and good governance 
and considering the growth of IDLO over the past few 
years, triennial meetings are far too infrequent to exert 
any member state influence over the day to day operations 
of the organization.  We can envision a day (soon) when 
the Assembly will meet at least annually. 
Notwithstanding IDLO's repeated appeals for additional 
unrestricted funding, the organization is in better 
financial shape than most comparable intergovernmental 
bodies.  In addition, the 2004 external evaluation helped 
the organization to focus on its core values and mission. 
As a result, IDLO has both feet firmly planted on the 
bandwagon of the Millennium Declaration goals, 
particularly those focused on rule of law and good 
governance.  Program successes, particularly in 
Afghanistan (post-Taliban training of judicial sector 
personnel), have brought the organization increased 
notoriety and resources.  We believe IDLO could be a 
valuable partner in the promotion of U.S. foreign policy 
goals related to development. 
 
CLEVERLEY 
 
 
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	2005ROME02308 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED