Palestine joins UNESCO, U.S. reacts
Palestine joins UNESCO, U.S. reactsThe United States cuts UNESCO funding after the UN body accepts Palestine as its newest member state.
The United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently voted to admit Palestine as a full member nation. In response, the U.S. announced it would eliminate its funding to UNESCO. Currently, 22 per cent (or $80 million) of the UN agency’s budget comes from the U.S.
The U.S. and some EU member nations tried to delay the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s bid for membership, and had previously offered concessions intending to forestall the bid. If the decision hadn’t been put to a vote this year, the PLO would have to wait two years until the next UNESCO meeting.
As an immediate result of its new member status, Palestinian heritage buildings like the Church of the Nativity can be registered as World Heritage sites and would qualify for UNESCO protection and funding.
The PLO is also expected to make bids for admission into other UN agencies like the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), as well as in other, non-UN organisations such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
While UNESCO is a UN agency, membership decisions are made separately from other agencies, and full UN membership is not guaranteed to countries accepted into UNESCO or similar agencies.
Ramallah-based journalist Joseph Dana will be joining the show in studio. He is a senior writer at +972 Magazine. Also in the show via Skype are Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of The Jerusalem Fund and The Palestine Center, and Rami Khouri, Director of the Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut and editor-at-large of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper.
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