‘UNESCO to bring Palestine no closer to statehood’
Palestine joining UNESCO will merely enable the autonomy to apply for cultural heritage sites and educational programs, points out Jeffrey Laurenti, a political analyst from The Century Foundation. As for major politics, the new membership will hardly make any difference: “Palestine may have votes in the UN at large, but it has no votes in the Security Council,” he points out.Nevertheless, the overwhelming approval from the UNESCO panel clearly signals if not a strengthening of the Palestinian Authority, then weakening of Washington’s position, says Laurenti.“UNESCO member states are frankly tired of being pushed around by Washington on a mission which Washington controls,” he told RT. “This mission of a peace process started 20 years ago and is still not resolved with the promised peace agreement always kept on the horizon.”Now the USA has cut off a $60 million donation to the organization, which has been followed by Israel also withdrawing its funds. But the target of the punishment is wrong as while the UNESCO secretariat is appalled by the tremendous drop in subsidy, the members vote as they wish, believes Laurenti.Palestine’s admission to UNESCO was announced on October 31 after a 107-14 vote with 52 abstentions. The 14 countries which voted against admitting the Autonomy included the USA, Canada and Germany, while Russia, China, France and 104 other countries supported the application.The success in UNESCO has made Palestine eye entry into 16 more world organizations starting with the World Health Organization.