Post Image
svgadminsvgOctober 28, 2011svgNews

UNESCO to Vote Monday on PA’s Request for Membership

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) general assembly will vote Monday on the Palestinian Authority’s request to become a full member of the organization, AFP reported on Friday.

Sources in the organization told AFP that the vote is to take place on the same day that the PA’s foreign minister, Riyad al-Malki, will address the assembly.

The PA’s request to UNESCO was submitted after its application to the UN Security Council last month, demanding full membership and recognition as a sovereign nation with its boundaries along the 1949 Armistice Lines.

While the United States will be able to veto such a decision should it pass in the Security Council, no one has a veto at UNESCO, where a two-thirds majority of its 193 voting members would be enough to approve the PA’s request.

Diplomats told AFP that the PA, which currently has observer status at UNESCO, would have no problem garnering the required votes to become a full member. However, this is not the first time the PA has attempted to gain full membership in UNESCO, and in the past, the attempt has failed.

If the request is granted, it will likely cause tensions between UNESCO and the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has previously hinted that such a move by UNESCO could cause the United States to cut funds for the organization. She noted that the United States, which pays 22 percent of UNESCO’s dues, might be required by law to cut off its funding if UNESCO were to accept the PA as a member.

The PA, meanwhile, has said that it plans to use its membership in UNESCO to lay claims to Jewish holy sites.

The entity has already had some success in claiming Bethlehem sites for the Arab world – in 2010, UNESCO agreed to declare the Tomb of Rachel a mosque and “an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories.”

svgWear a Burka for Halloween?
svgPoll: Clinton Could Beat Leading GOP Candidates