Posted by: mulrickillion | October 31, 2011

Palestine becomes member of UNESCO

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Permanent delegate of the US to UNESCO David Killion, center, reacts as delegates vote on the Palestinian membership, during a session of UNESCO’s 36th General Conference, in Paris, Monday Oct. 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus).

By Sarah Dilorenzo, AP, Oct 31, 2011 — PARIS — Palestine became a full member of UNESCO on Monday, in a highly divisive breakthrough that could cost the agency a fifth of its budget and that the U.S. and other opponents say could harm renewed Mideast peace efforts.

Lawmakers in the United States, which provides about 22 percent of UNESCO’s funding, had threatened to halt some $80 million in annual funding if Palestinian membership was approved. It wasn’t clear in the immediate aftermath of Monday’s vote whether the threat would become reality.

White House spokesman Jay Carney called UNESCO’s decision “premature” and said it undermines the international community’s goal of a comprehensive Middle East peace plan. He called it a distraction from the goal of restarting direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Monday’s vote is a grand symbolic victory for the Palestinians, but it alone won’t make Palestine into a state. The issue of borders of an eventual Palestinian state, security troubles and other disputes that have thwarted Middle East peace for decades remain unresolved. . . .

Palestine becomes member of UNESCO – Chicago Sun-Times

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