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[31 Oct 2011]

THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF UNESCO ADMITS PALESTINE AS A MEMBER STATE

The General Conference of UNESCO voted today in favour of the admission of Palestine as a Member State of the Organization. For the association to tak  effect, Palestine must now sign the ratification of the Constitution of UNESCO.

The entry of Palestine brings to 195 the number of Member States of UNESCO.

The vote showed 107 votes in favour of admission and 14 votes against with 52 abstentions.

Voted in favour of admission European countries as Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Luxembourg and Finland, almost all Arab and African countries, China, India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa. Voted against, inter alia, the United States, Canada and Germany. Portugal, UK and Italy joined the group of countries that abstained.

Admission to UNESCO of states that are not members of the United Nations requires a recommendation of the Executive Council of the Organization and an approval by a two thirds majority in the General Conference of Member States.

The General Conference is composed of representatives of Member States of the Organization. It meets every two years with the participation of Member States and Associate Members, together with observers from non-Member States, intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Each Member shall have one vote, regardless of size or value of its contribution to the budget.

The General Conference determines the policies and main lines of action of the Organization. It's its job to establish the programs and budget of UNESCO. It also elects the members of the Executive Board and appoints, every four years, the Director-General.

The mission of UNESCO is to contribute to peace building, poverty eradication, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, science, culture, communication and information.

 
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