U.N. Cultural Agency Approves Palestinian Membership Bid | The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted on Monday morning in Geneva to accept Palestine among its member ranks. Palestine got 107 “yes” votes, 14 “no” votes, and 52 abstentions, resulting in well over the two-thirds approval needed to gain membership. In the 1990s, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that blocks funding to any agency that admits Palestine, setting up the potential U.S. defunding of UNESCO. The U.S. representative to the body reportedly said in statement that the vote will “complicate our ability to support UNESCO.”
Defunding UNESCO could affect the work of U.S. companies abroad, particularly entertainment companies that rely on a UNESCO-related organization to resolve global intellectual property disputes. The State Department apparently considers the situation serious enough to invite companies from Internet, computer, pharmaceutical, film, and recording industries to a meeting today at Foggy Bottom, according to Politico.
CAP’s Matt Duss has more at Middle East Progress.