Home > Anything Else > UNESCO Committee Supports Palestinian Statehood Bid

UNESCO Committee Supports Palestinian Statehood Bid


Update 10/31/2011: UNESCO Grants Full Membership to Palestinians

By John Irish – “PARIS – Palestinians moved a step closer to full membership of the UN cultural agency on Wednesday when its board decided to let 193 member countries vote on admission this month.

The latest move in a Palestinian quest for statehood recognition drew a swift rebuke from the United States and Israel, which both argue that the way to create Palestine is through negotiations, and a cool response from France.

In September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas formally applied to the UN Security Council for full membership of the United Nations, ignoring a U.S. warning that it would veto the move, as well as threats from members of the U.S. Congress to restrict American aid to the Palestinians.

At UNESCO, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 40 representatives of the 58-member board voted in favor of putting the matter to a vote, with four — the United States, Germany, Romania and Latvia — voting against and 14 abstaining, a source at the agency told Reuters.

That set the scene for a membership vote at UNESCO’s General Conference, a meeting that runs from Oct. 25 to Nov. 10 and involves all 193 members of the agency, based in Paris.

It also raised questions about whether Washington might be required by U.S. law to cut off funding for the agency if it were to accept the Palestinians as a member. The United States pays 22% of UNESCO’s dues, the State Department said.

EXACERBATING ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN TENSIONS?

U.S. ambassador to UNESCO David Killion issued a statement urging all delegations to join the United States in voting ‘no’ while in Washington U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland sharply criticized the Palestinian effort.

‘This is not going to create a state for them,’ she said at her daily briefing. ‘It is going to make things harder … It further exacerbates the environment of tension.'” Read more.

Actor-in-Chief: President Obama Steps Into a Pro-Israel Role to Woo Jewish Votes, But If Re-elected … – “The Obama administration told the Palestinian Authority it cannot significantly help advance a Palestinian state until after the 2012 presidential elections, a top PA official told WND. The official, however, said the U.S. will press for a Palestinian state quickly if President Obama is re-elected… ‘after the reelection, the U.S. said the schedule will be short to reach a Palestinian state.’” Read more.

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