Full Palestinian membership in the United Nations’ cultural body, Unesco, was approved today in a landslide vote that imperils U.S. funding for the group.
The Palestinian membership application for the Paris-based agency won 107 votes in favor, with 14 against and 52 abstentions. Palestine becomes the 195th member state in the group best known for its designation of ”œworld heritage” sites.
The vote at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization could lead to a cutoff of U.S. financial support, which totals about $80 million a year, or 22 percent of the operating budget.
”œThe vote to grant Palestinian membership in Unesco is no substitute for direct negotiations, but it is deeply damaging for Unesco,” U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said in a message posted on her Twitter feed.
Under U.S. law, the United States is prohibited from giving funds to the United Nations or any UN agency that grants the Palestine Liberation Organization the same standing as member states.
”œExisting U.S. law mandates that we cut off funding to any UN body that approves such a request,” U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican and chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an e-mailed statement today.
and this is how the US loses credibility