UNESCO and Palestine




So the votes are in, and UNESCO has voted to accept Palestine as a full member. I have procured the full voting results, which to my knowledge, have not been made public yet. There were 14 “no” votes, 52 abstentions and 107 “yes” votes (there were also 20 21 Member States absent):

No: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sweden, United States of America, Vanuatu.

Abstentions: Albania, Andorra, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Cook Islands, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Haiti, Hungary, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liberia, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Switzerland, Thailand, Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Zambia.

Yes: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Sant Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Absent: Antigua and Barbuda, Central African Republic, Comoros, Dominica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Madagascar, Maldives, Marshall Islands,ConFederated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Niue, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan.

Most of these are no surprise, although it is worth noting the division in Europe, with Spain, France, Ireland, Austria, Finland and Greece voting “yes,” Germany, Czech Republic and Sweden voting “no,” and the UK, Italy and Denmark abstaining.  It’s also probably worth noting that the US didn’t manage to get a “no” vote from such solid supporters as countries like Latvia (which voted “no” to bringing the motion to the General Assembly earlier this month but abstained today) and Tuvalu, Nauru and other island states that almost always support the US  in international forums. Another formerly stalwart US supporter who voted for Palestine is Iceland.

I remember chatting with an Icelandic diplomat during the Bush administration who had told me that after one particularly egregious instance of Washington dictating terms on what should have been a bilateral decision between Reykjavik and DC the US could no longer count on their automatic support in international forums.

Note: I’ve transcribed these from documentation, so there may be some typos, but I think the numbers add up. Let me know in the comments if I’ve made a mistake.

Update: I’ve added the Member States that were absent. I don’t know if they were present for the General Assembly and just skipped this vote, but even if no one from the Member State came, to the best of my knowledge, with the exception of South Sudan, each has a permanent delegation at UNESCO, so that’s relevant information as well. As a friend just pointed out to me, being absent is “also a means of abstaining.”

Update II: I’ve just been told that if a Member State hasn’t paid its dues, it loses the right to vote, which might explain some (or all?) of the absent countries.


2 thoughts on “UNESCO and Palestine

  1. If we want to live a good Democratic and no appendage appendage .. then all States have an equal in the eyes of the Law,, do is make some of his powers as a policeman of the world,,, so therefore the UN should be in the renovation / Reform, the right of veto should be eliminated,, let us compete in a healthy life,, the time just because a state veto .. The results failed deh UN court decision that would cost so much .. finally found out deh spots,,,, Democratic superpower is a mere desire of coercion, if not at odds with the interests of harmony and double it will be thrown out aliases in its embargo,,

  2. It is wonderful that at last some countries are beginning to wake up to the problems in Palestine. Why can’t we all united against the military might of Israel and let the Palestinians live in their lands and the Israelis live in theirs. There is plenty to go around especially in north Israel

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