Palestinian Membership in International Organizations

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Palestinian Membership in International Organizations

Palestinian Membership in International Organizations in 2013

United States views on international law [1] in relation to Palestinian Membership in International Organizations: Loss of U.S. Vote at UNESCO

On November 8, 2013, the United States lost its vote in the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (“UNESCO”) General Conference as a result of legislative restrictions on payment of U.S. dues to UNESCO that were triggered after UNESCO's members voted to grant the Palestinians membership as a state in 2011. See this world legal encyclopedia (in relation to issues that took place in the year 2011) at 254-56. The State Department issued a press statement, available at (Secretary of State website) state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2013/11/217366.htm, expressing regret at the loss of a vote while also explaining the ongoing role the United States will have at UNESCO. The press statement includes the following

We note a loss of vote in the General Conference is not a loss of U.S. membership. The United States intends to continue its engagement with UNESCO in every possible way—we can attend meetings and participate in debate, and we will maintain our seat and vote as an elected member of the Executive Board until 2015.

UNESCO and U.S. leadership at UNESCO matter. UNESCO directly advances U.S. interests in supporting girls' and women's education, facilitating important scientific research, promoting tolerance, protecting and preserving the world's natural and cultural heritage, supporting freedom of the press, and much more. It is in that vein that President Obama has requested legislative authority to allow the United States to continue to pay its dues to UN agencies that admit the Palestinians as a member state when doing so is in the U.S. national interest. Although that proposal has not yet been enacted by Congress, the President remains committed to that goal.

Some Aspects of Palestinian Membership in International Organizations

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power also delivered a statement on behalf of the United States at the UN on November 8 regarding the loss of a U.S. vote at UNESCO, available at (link resource) usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/217394.htm, which follows:

Today the United States lost its vote in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Conference as a result of legislative restrictions that prohibit the U.S. from paying its dues. While these restrictions are motivated by concerns that we share, the loss of the United States' vote in UNESCO diminishes our influence within an organization that is looked to around the world for leadership on issues of importance to our country, including the rights of women and girls, Internet governance, freedom of the press, and the recognition and protection of cultural heritage. The Obama Administration has called upon Congress to approve legislative changes that would allow needed flexibility in the application of these statutory restrictions.

U.S. leadership in UNESCO matters. As such, the United States will remain engaged with the organization in every possible capacity, including attending meetings, participating in debates, and maintaining our seat as an elected member of the Executive Board until 2015.

Developments

U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO David Killion also delivered a statement regarding the loss of a U.S. vote at UNESCO on November 9, 2013 at the 37th UNESCO General Conference. His statement follows and is also available at (link resource) unesco.usmission.gov/37gc-voteloss.html.

Details

I would like to thank you, Director-General Bokova, for your strong, moving and eloquent statement of support for the relationship between the United States and UNESCO. At this important moment in UNESCO's history, I would like to respond briefly on behalf of the United States.

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As I noted in my national remarks to the plenary yesterday evening, the deep and continued engagement of the United States in UNESCO will be maintained.

UNESCO matters to the United States. It is at the forefront of facing global challenges and improving the lives of people all around the world. The United States recognizes that UNESCO is a critical partner in creating a better future. We intend to continue our engagement with UNESCO in every possible way. We will actively participate in meetings and debates and we will maintain our seat and vote as an elected member of the Executive Board until 2015. We will also continue to work with the Secretariat and partner delegations on programs of mutual importance, such as girls' and women's education, protection of cultural heritage, leveraging public-private partnerships, and freedom of expression.

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The United States is at the table here. Just as we were present for UNESCO's founding 68 years ago, the United States remains as committed to UNESCO's mandate and purpose today.

Palestinian Membership in International Organizations in 2013 (Continuation)

United States views on international law [1] in relation to Palestinian Membership in International Organizations: For this reason, President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Secretary Kerry, myself, and other officials at every level have been working tirelessly to seek a legislative remedy that would allow the United States to resume paying our contributions to UNESCO. Regrettably, that remedy has not yet been achieved. Nonetheless, the administration will continue its efforts to restore our funding for UNESCO.

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Madame Director-General, on behalf of the United States, I also want to express my heartfelt thanks to you for your friendship and your steadfast leadership. We have worked together for several years on important issues at UNESCO. Ironically, during the course of this challenging period, your engagement and your leadership have dramatically enhanced the visibility and credibility of UNESCO in the United States as an indispensable agency tackling 21st century global challenges.

Palestinian Membership in International Organizations

In relation to the international law practice and palestinian membership in international organizations in this world legal Encyclopedia, please see the following section:

International Organizations

Note: there is detailed information and resources under these topics during the year 2013, covered by this entry on palestinian membership in international organizations in this law Encyclopedia.

Resources

Notes

  1. Palestinian Membership in International Organizations in the Digest of United States Practice in International Law

Resources

Notes

  1. Palestinian Membership in International Organizations in the Digest of United States Practice in International Law

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