Canada Freezes Voluntary Contributions To UNESCO After Palestine Vote

Canada is joining the U.S. in punishing UNESCO following the U.N. agency’s approval of a Palestinian bid for full membership. “Under no circumstances will Canada cover the budgeting shortfall as a result of this decision and Canada has decided to freeze all further voluntary contributions to UNESCO,” said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in reference to the shortfall caused by the withdrawal of U.S. funding. Baird said Canada would continue its funding at current level — Canada contributes nearly $12 million annually — but will not add new payments. “The bottom line is there’s going to be a large hole in UNESCO’s budget because of the American law which withdraws funding and people at UNESCO should not look to Canada to fill that budget hole,” said Baird.