To Be or Not to…?

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - WORLD -

The UNESCO man­age­ment re­grets the de­ci­sion of Tel Aviv, be­cause it is con­vinced that it is bet­ter to set­tle the dif­fer­ences within the frame­work of UNESCO, and not out­side it.

On the eve of 2018, UNESCO Director-Gen­eral Au­drey Azoulay re­ceived for­mal no­ti­fi­ca­tion from the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment of its with­drawal from the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Ac­cord­ing to her, re­spon­si­bil­ity for de­ci­sions taken by vot­ing lies with the mem­ber states of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Full par­tic­i­pa­tion in the work of UNESCO al­lows us to con­duct di­a­logue, de­velop co­op­er­a­tion and part­ner­ship re­la­tions, which to­day are needed more than ever, Ms Azoulay un­der­scored.


In 2011, UNESCO be­came the first of the UN en­ti­ties to of­fi­cially rec­og­nize a non-ex­is­tent Pales­tine as a full mem­ber state of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. In re­sponse, Is­rael and the US froze their an­nual pay­ments, and in 2014 they lost the right to vote.

The fur­ther dis­con­tent of Is­rael was re­in­forced by the fact that sev­eral tourist at­trac­tions that the coun­try con­sid­ers to be its own be­long to Pales­tine. It is the Old City of He­bron, the Basil­ica of the Na­tiv­ity in Beth­le­hem and the cul­tural land­scape of the south­ern part of Jerusalem. He­bron was in­cluded as a Pales­tinian land­mark in the World Her­itage List in July 2017.

In Oc­to­ber 2017, Wash­ing­ton an­nounced the with­drawal from the or­ga­ni­za­tion, leav­ing be­hind an ob­server sta­tus. Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu called such a de­ci­sion ‘bold and moral’. On De­cem­ber 23, the head of the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment in­structed the coun­try’s am­bas­sador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Co­hen to sub­mit an of­fi­cial state­ment to the lead­er­ship of this or­ga­ni­za­tion, where it will be said that Is­rael will with­draw from it un­til the end of 2018.



The ap­point­ment of the French Jewess as the Director Gen­eral of the or­ga­ni­za­tion leaves a light of hope. Ne­tanyahu him­self has made it clear that within the next year Is­rael will closely mon­i­tor UNESCO’s work un­der the lead­er­ship of the new CEO. Al­though, as the world’s mass me­dia write, in this case the fact of the Jewry of the for­mer Min­is­ter of Cul­ture of France does not say any­thing, given her crit­i­cal at­ti­tude to the pol­icy of the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment.

Am­bas­sador Shama-Co­hen in­tends to ex­plain to the new Director Gen­eral that his coun­try can change its plans, al­though he con­sid­ers Is­rael’s de­ci­sion to be com­pletely log­i­cal.

Un­der UNESCO Char­ter, with­drawal from its ranks ac­quires le­gal force only a year after the fil­ing of the cor­re­spond­ing ap­pli­ca­tion. The US filed it in Oc­to­ber, so it will be out of UNESCO only in Oc­to­ber 2018. Sim­i­larly, in the case of Is­rael, the one-year pe­riod from the fil­ing date will be counted down.

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