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Palestine's Unesco membership may cause financial implications: UN chief

Tuesday November 01, 2011 10:10:50 AM, IANS

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United Nations: The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said the admission of Palestine to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) may create funding problems for the organisation.

"As you are already aware by this time, this step could have potential implications for funding provided by some member states," Xinhua quoted Ban as saying Monday during a press conference held to mark the day when the world population reached 7 billion-mark.

"This is a decision by the member states. But as the secretary-general of the United Nations, I have to draw out to the members of the United Nations system this fact," he added.

The Unesco Monday voted to admit Palestine, even as the discussion continues in the UN Security Council about admitting Palestine as a member state of the UN as a whole.

With this, the Unesco turned the first UN agency to have admitted Palestine as a member.

Palestine won admission with 107 countries voting in its favour, 14 in against and 52 abstained.

The US and Israel have voiced opposition to the Unesco's move.

On Monday, the US announced its decision to stop its financial contributions to Unesco in response to their decision to admit Palestine before completion of bilateral negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

"It is (up to) member states to ensure that the United Nations system as a whole (has) a consistent political and financial support," said Ban. "As such, we will need to work on practical solutions to preserve Unesco's financial resources."





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