Iran loses bid to chair UNESCO’s Executive Board

South Korean Ambassador Lee Byong-Hyun will replace Michael Worbs of Germany who has held the post for the last two years.

November 17, 2017 03:17
1 minute read.
Iran loses bid to chair UNESCO’s Executive Board

UNESCO headquarters. (photo credit: PHILIPPE WOJAZER/REUTERS)


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Iran lost its bid to chair the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Executive Board, which in the last few years has approved a number of resolutions that ignore Jewish ties to its holiest site the Temple Mount.

On Thursday the 58-member board voted 32-25 to put South Korean Ambassador Lee Byong-Hyun at its head, replacing Michael Worbs of Germany who has held that post for the last two years.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Carmel Shama HaCohen said Iran’s candidacy was thwarted in part by behind the scenes diplomatic efforts by his country and the United States.

The United States has already informed UNESCO that it plans to withdraw from that body, in part because of its anti-Israel bias.
Israeli Envoy to UNESCO throws UN Jerusalem Temple Mount resolution into the trash

Israel has said it plans to follow suit, but has not yet taken any action. It is waiting to see if the US changes its mind before it formally withdraws at the end of 2018.

Shama HaCohen said it was not clear what the future held for Israel at UNESCO, but an Iranian chair for the Executive Board would have cut the country’s access to the board.

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