Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Nigerian web users call for end to violence

Read more

FOCUS

Bitcoin in the US: A monetary revolution?

Read more

ENCORE!

Fast cars and slow trains

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

FACE-OFF

François Hollande: France's most unpopular president

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Mansouria Mokhefi, Middle East and North Africa specialist

Read more

LIFESTYLES

Sustainable cuisine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bitter pill to swallow

Read more

  • Wheelchair-bound Bouteflika votes in Algerian election

    Read more

  • Films by four French directors short-listed for Cannes' top prize

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

Culture

US, Israel lose UNESCO voting rights for halting funds

© afp

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-11-08

The United States and Israel on Friday automatically lost their voting rights at the UN cultural body UNESCO after missing a deadline to pay their dues. Both nations halted UNESCO funding in 2011 after the agency admitted Palestine as a member.

The United States and Israel lost their UNESCO voting rights Friday after suspending funding to the organisation in 2011 when Palestine was admitted, a source from the UN agency told AFP.

Neither the United States nor Israel "presented the necessary documentation this morning to avoid losing their right to vote," the source said on condition of anonymity.

Both countries stopped paying their contributions to the global cultural agency after Palestine was made a UNESCO member two years ago, provoking a major financial crisis at the agency and putting hundreds of jobs in jeopardy.

Under UNESCO rules, the US and Israel had until Friday to pay their dues or automatically lose voting rights.

US contributions represented 22 percent of the agency's overall budget. With the US and Israel withdrawing their contributions UNESCO's budget fell from $653 million to $507 million (310 million euros).

The reduced budget means some 300 people at UNESCO are in danger of losing their jobs. In 2012 the UN agency employed 1,200 people at its headquarters in Paris and 900 around the world.

"The list of countries that will lose their voting rights will be announced probably tomorrow (Saturday) in a plenary session," the same UNESCO source said.

UNESCO's chief Irina Bokova has raised $75 million to deal with the financial crisis at the agency, which is responsible for selecting and overseeing World Heritage sites and deals with literacy, media freedom, science and environmental issues.

In October the 61-year-old Bulgarian was re-elected as UNESCO's director general after a tough challenge from two rivals -- the Djiboutian ambassador to France, Rachad Farah, and Lebanese academic Joseph Maila.

Both Farah and Maila argued the body had lost its main objective to maintain world peace through culture.

In the run-up to the election, Bokova, a former foreign minister, said the financial crisis at the agency was over and argued the body had been able to maintain its programmes.

But she did express concern over the tighter budget, saying it was "a derisory amount in respect of our mandate".

France's Court of Auditors charged with conducting financial and legislative audits of most public institutions, has been scathing in its criticism of UNESCO saying the "unexpected nature (of the fund freeze) could not justify the organisation's state of unpreparedness".

Other reports however, notably by Britain and Australia, had voiced general approval of Bokova's tenure.

The Palestinians were admitted to UNESCO in October 2011, when its general assembly voted 107-14 to make Palestine its 195th member.

The United States says the Palestinians must reach a peace agreement with Israel before they can become full members of an international organisation.

(AFP)

 

Date created : 2013-11-08

  • FRANCE

    Abbas attends raising of Palestinian flag at UNESCO

    Read more

  • UN

    UNESCO operations halted after losing US funding

    Read more

  • ISRAEL

    Israel mulls response to UNESCO Palestine vote

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)