US concerned over Palestinian UN plans following UNESCO

Washington watches progress of PA appeals in other UN organizations, discusses future of UN funding following suspension of UNESCO funds.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
November 1, 2011 20:34
2 minute read.
Netanyahu speaks to US Congress

US Congress. (photo credit: courtesy)

 
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A day after the US announced that it was suspending funds to UNESCO following that organization's recognition of Palestinian statehood, Washington turned with concern Tuesday toward other UN institutions that may be targeted by the Palestinian Authority.

The United States is carefully watching the progress of similar Palestinian initiatives in other UN organizations, with speculators warning that more critical organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the International Atomic Energy Agency could be the next targets. The WHO has described American funding as “vital” for its operation.

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High-tech representatives already met with State Department representatives to try and understand how to protect their intellectual capital if the US limits or restricts WIPO participation.

In response to Monday's landslide UNESCO vote, Congresswoman Kay Granger, Chairwoman of the House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee called upon the Obama Administration to enforce the 1994 law barring US contributions to UN institutions that recognized unilaterally-declared Palestinian statehood.

She also called on the administration to act similarly against any other UN organizations that pass similar votes in the future.

It is unlikely that Palestinian funding will be further effected by the UNESCO declaration. A hold that was placed on $200 million dollars in aid to the PA last August signaled Washington's disapproval of the quest for unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood.


Granger worked in the past to bring about the current freeze of US funding to the Palestinian Authority. Although she acceded to requests to lift the freeze on security funding, she is expected to stand strong on her position against unfreezing economic funds.



Last Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday urged the Congress not to cut security aid. Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the administration has a “strong preference that aid not be cut, particularly aid for the security forces."

Clinton warned that draining Palestinian funding ran the risk of bringing about “the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and a vacuum that could then be filled by radicals like Hamas.”

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