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Latest News

UNESCO to vote on Monday on Palestinian entry

UN cultural agency UNESCO will vote on Monday on a Palestinian request for membership, part of a wider Palestinian campaign for recognition as a state within the wider United Nations system.

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October 29, 2011 2:54 by



UNESCO’s executive board decided on Oct. 6 to allow the 193 member countries vote on the application, angering Israel and the United States, which provides 22 percent of the funding of the UN subsidiary and could cut that lifeline as a result.

A UNESCO spokeswoman said the vote was likely to take place late on Monday morning at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, during an annual gathering that runs from October 25 to November 15.

UNESCO is the first UN agency the Palestinians have sought to join as a full member since applying for membership of the United Nations on September 23.

The bid for a full UN seat, which can be granted only by the Security Council, is destined to fail because Washington has vowed to use its veto in the forum if it comes to a vote.

Washington views the Palestinian quest for UN recognition of statehood as a unilateral move unhelpful to US efforts to revive stalled peace negotiations with Israel, which it says are the only way forward.

The Palestinians say talks with Israel, which also opposes the Palestinian UN initiative, have brought them no closer to their goal of independence in the two decades since such negotiations began. (Reporting By Vicky Buffery; Editing by Brian Love and Alistair Lyon)



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1 Comment

  1. Yesh Prabhu on October 29, 2011 8:35 pm

    With the peace talks completely stalled, President Abbas decided to take some action to at least shake up the status quo. He knows that no progress in peace talks results in only one thing: Progress in the ever expanding illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian ancestral lands. Israel has already swallowed a significant area of Palestine by building walls, creating “buffer zones”, and roads and settlements for Jews only. So Abbas has decided to take the peaceful, non-violent road for freedom from occupation, and go to the UN to ask for full membership to Palestine.

    It seems to me President Abbas must have thought deeply, in the last eight months, about how Mahatma Gandhi secured freedom for Indians from the abominable British occupation of India through non-violent, non-cooperation movement, which he called “Satyagraha”. Mahatma Gandhi walked to the sea to collect a handful of “tax-free” salt from the sea shore; Mahmoud Abbas decided to fly to New York and enter the august UN halls to ask all the nations of the world for help to end Israel’s abominable occupation of Palestine. And his actions have already performed some miracles: The complacent Western nations that silently colluded with the Americans in preserving Israel’s dominance over Palestine have suddenly sprung into action, and have been chanting the peace mantra. President Obama, too, is now suddenly frantic. The tide has decidedly turned in favor of the Palestinians. About 125 nations now recognize Palestine. UNESCO will admit Palestine on Monday, October 2011. It is inevitable that the UN will, too; and soon, because the ripples from the Arab Spring have finally reached the American shores.

    Yesh Prabhu, Bushkill, Pennsylvania

     

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