U.S. Halts Payments to UNESCO over Palestine Vote

Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Flag of Palestine
Following on its warning from last week, the United States has withdrawn its funding from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after it voted to admit Palestine as a member.
The U.S., which is responsible for more than one-fifth of UNESCO’s budget, was scheduled to make a $60 million payment in November as part of its membership. If Washington goes two years without contributing to the UN organization, it will lose its voting rights.
Officials in the State Department said they had no choice but to withhold the money, because federal laws passed in 1990 and 1994 prohibit the U.S. government from financing any UN body that grants membership to a Palestinian state.
UNESCO accepted Palestine after 107 countries voted in favor of admitting it as a member. The United States was one of only 14 nations to vote against Palestine.  Fifty-two nations abstained and another 20 didn’t show up for the vote. Emboldened by the victory, Palestinian diplomats intend to lobby 16 other UN agencies for admittance.
-Noel Brinkerhoff

U.S Law Halts Aid to UNESCO if it Recognizes Palestine (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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