Palestine Granted UNESCO Membership Despite Threat of US Funding Cut

World | October 31, 2011, Monday // 15:31
Bulgaria: Palestine Granted UNESCO Membership Despite Threat of US Funding Cut A file picture dated 25 October 2011 of the 36th session of UNESCO`s General Conference in Paris, France. EPA-BGNES

Palestine was admitted as a UNESCO member on Monday, a move that is expected to cause the US to cut off tens of millions of dollars in annual funding for the international organization.

During UNSECO's meeting in Paris on Monday, 107 countries voted in favor of the Palestinian bid, while 14 were against and 52 abstained, Al-Jazeera informs.

The US, Canada and Germany voted against the Palestinian membership, while Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa and France voted in favor. Britain abstained.

According to a 1990 US law, the US is to bar funding any United Nations agency "which accords the Palestine Liberation Organisation the same standing as member states."

Nearly 22% of UNESCO'S annual budget, or approximately USD 70 M, is financed by US funding.

"This would have serious consequences. Programs would have to be cut, our budget would have to be rebalanced," UNESCO Director General, Bulgarian Irina Bokova, commented before Monday's vote, as cited by The New York Times.

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Tags: Palestine, unseco, Irina Bokova, US, funding, Palestine Liberation Organization
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