PARIS - The cut in US funding of UNESCO following its granting of full
membership to Palestinians would compromise programs including Holocaust
education and a tsunami warning system, the head of the UN cultural
agency said on Wednesday.
The United States said on Monday it would not transfer a planned $60
million in funds in protest over the vote by member states of UNESCO to
admit the Palestinians.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called the United States, which
supplies 22 percent of its funding, a "critical partner" in the work of
the agency, which promotes global education and press freedom among
"The announced withholding of US dues owed for 2011 will immediately
affect our ability to deliver programs in critical areas: achieving
universal education, supporting new democracies and fighting extremism,"
wrote Bokova in a statement.
Saying UNESCO's work was in America's "core interests" Bokova said US
funding helped the agency develop a free press in north African
countries like Tunisia and Egypt, undertake Holocaust education and
expand a tsunami warning system.