Oct 10, 2011

Palestine to become a Member State of UNESCO

Last week UNESCO's 187th Executive Board decided that the General Conference of UNESCO were to vote on the membership of Palestine in the organization.
UNESCO is the UN system's largest agency. It is a crucial intstitution for many Member States as it is the UN authority not only for culture and education, but also for media, which made it play a significant role during and after the arab spring with programs for supporting the new media policies of countries. It is also an organization with one of the best known global projects the World Heritage, which can be of emotional, propagandistic and prestige significance to countries throughout the world.
It seems that the timing for a vote on membership couldn't come at a more crucial time in the organizations history. Just this year a couple month ago US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the organization ast the first US Secretary of State ever to do so. It seemed that the US - UNESCO relations are more than fine. Now Clinton is mentioning in a speech to cut off US funding to UNESCO, which would be a disaster for the organization since the USA is its greatest contributor.
Porcedure is fairly simple now after the Executive Boards decision in only short time at the end of October the General Confrence will commence and it will vote on the issue. Palestine of course needs a two-thirds majority. It is of course not easy to obtain this, but you have to bare in mind no state has a veto in this organ. Will this be Palestine first true step reaching external sovereignty?   

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