Friday, March 30, 2012

How others see the U.S. action against UNESCO

The General Conference of UNESCO last fall voted, over America's opposition, to admit Palestine to membership. In response, and in keeping with laws passed in the early 1990s, the United States is withholding its contributions to UNESCO. Since the U.S. assessed contribution corresponds to 22 percent of its regular budget, this is causing a crisis in the Organization.

Here is a comment on the case by the Turkish publication, Todays Zaman:

Just by looking at UNESCO’s identity motto one can observe that something about the latest US decision is not quite right. 
Here it is: “UNESCO contributes to the building of peace, the alleviation of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.” And, one may add, it pursues these noble objectives across many underdeveloped countries all over the world. 
How is it possible then that the Obama administration has announced that it will stop payments towards such an institution? The US, also known as the land of possibilities, has knowingly decided to deny their support for an organization that courageously helps people in need all over the world. I don’t mean to be cacophonic, but this resolution implies, and that’s the worst part of it, the taking away of the possibility of a better life for people in need around the world. 
In other words, a lot of programs will be shut down.......... 
The controversy within the position adopted by the US seems to be merely of a legal nature. We know that the US has proved all along to be a loyal ally of Israel. We also know that in the ‘90s two congressional laws were created to expressly prohibit the funding of any UN organization that accepts the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a full member. The purpose of the laws was to encourage negotiation between Israelis and the Palestinians to reach a just and broad peace. What we might not know is that the laws are reversible, and the US Congress could abolish these laws if it wants to. It could vote at any given time to invalidate them, as declared by the president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.
Read the entire article titled "Why US decision to deny support to UNESCO is extremely controversial"
by Eleonora Galasso.

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