On Monday, UNESCO becomes the first United Nations agency to grant a full membership to Palestine. The member states think that if Palestine is given a full membership, then it will encourage their bid for recognition as a state at the United Nations. After the election Riad Malki the Palestine Foreign minister said “Joy fills my heart. This is really an historic moment.”
United States has announced that they will not be funding the UNESCO if Palestine’s full membership is approved by the members. US provide about 22% of UNESCO’s total funding. If the membership is approved, then this UN agency is certainly going to suffer a major economic blow.
United States and its long time partner Israel criticized the decision taken by the UNESCO. Foreign ministry of Israel said that after this incident they will consider their co-operation with UNESCO. United States ambassador to the UN Susan Rice told that this move was “no substitute for negotiations, but it is deeply damaging to UNESCO.”
Victoria Nuland the United States state department spokesperson said reporters that the decision taken by the member states was ‘regrettable’ and ‘premature’. The US “remains strongly committed to robust, multilateral engagement across the UN system. However, Palestinian membership as a state in UNESCO triggers long-standing legislative restrictions which will compel the US to refrain from making contributions to UNESCO,” she added.