The US Ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion, must have heard the journalistic injunction “follow the breakfast” as there was an elegant table laid out for some 15 AAPA members April 3 at the ambassador’s residence in the 16th arrondissement. Not all press breakfasts are so well prepared, as those who have bitten into dry, industrial-quality croissants while scribbling in their notebooks on an empty stomach at early morning tables will know.

Killion talked about the effects of the US axing of contributions to the UNESCO budget, and the determination of the Obama Administration to get a waiver to the laws which forced the cancellation of funding to the UN agency. There was a lively question and answer session about the jockeying for influence inside UNESCO and the Beltway after the Oct. 31 withdrawal of US support.

As the session was off the record, you had to be there to savor the fast-paced cut and thrust. Which is another reason why this brief note leads on the breakfast rather than journalistic content.

For those attached to etiquette and protocol, name badges and place names had been prepared. Printouts were provided with background briefing material, with an electronic version e-mailed the following day.

-Pierre Tran