Palestinians win full UNESCO membership

UN cultural body may lose U.S. funding

Palestinians gained full membership to UNESCO, the UN’s cultural organization, on Monday, winning the support of a majority of the body’s 173 members. “This vote will erase a tiny part of the injustice done to the Palestinian people,” Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told the UNESCO congregation in Paris following the vote. However, the vote means that UNESCO may lose more than 20 per cent of its total funding, which it gets from the U.S., which has vocally opposed Palestinian membership in the UN. Israel has also spoken against the result, calling it a rejection of the bilateral peace process and saying that it will “bring no change on the ground.” Although the move is largely symbolic, it shows a significant level of international support for the recognition of a Palestinian state. The UN Security Council will vote on full Palestinian membership next month. In Monday’s vote, 107 countries, including rising powers like China, India and Brazil, supported the Palestinians’ full membership in UNESCO. Canada was among the 14 countries that voted against Palestinian membership. Fifty-two countries abstained.


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