Monday, 31 October 2011

Palestine Granted Full UNESCO Membership Despite US Threats

The UN cultural and educational agency UNESCO has granted Palestine full membership in a move opposed by Israel and the United States. Delegates approved the membership by 107 votes to 14, 52 abstentions - the UK and Poland were among the latter.

Three hours later the US announced that it was cutting UNESCO funds to punish members for exercising their democratic right and voting to grant full membership to the Palestinians. A US state department spokeswoman said a payment of some $60m (£37m) due next month would not be made, but said that while continued US funding was impossible, "the administration wanted to remain an active member of UNESCO". Anyone like to give a reason why they should? Perhaps all those nations whose stolen cultural property is sold there because they have no "1970 Convention article 9 MOU" might like to take a vote on whether the US has been as active as they could have been and whether it should stay if it's not going to pay. According to UNESCO's constitution, if a country is in arrears in its payments to UNESCO for more than two years, it could lose its voting rights in the body anyway. I think those voting rights should be removed now, seeing as the US are so intent on abusing the spirit behind the voting process in addition to their continued acceptance of the sale of illicitly exported antiquities under the noses of the administration, making an utter mockery of the 1983 US 'acceptance' of the 1970 UNESCO Convention.

The UN Security Council will vote next month on whether to grant the Palestinians full UN membership.

'Palestine secures seat in UNESCO despite US threats': TV-Novosti, 31 October, 2011,

'US cuts Unesco funds over vote for Palestinian seat', BBC 31 October 2011.

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