Explanation of Vote by the United States on item 200 EX/25

Statement as delivered on October 13, 2016

Before me is a binder containing all the resolutions involving Israel and the Palestinians since 2000. Through 2009, and even as late as 2013, these resolutions were not politicized and were adopted by consensus.

But, in recent years, these resolutions have grown increasingly inflammatory and one-sided, to the point of ignoring the historic connections of all three religions, including the Jewish people, to the holy sites of Jerusalem. While some Member States may believe new language in today’s resolution is an improvement, these minor changes are far from sufficient.

At a time when UNESCO is stretched to its limits on issues as diverse as violent extremism, cultural heritage, climate change, and the 2030 Agenda, we question why Member States continue to adopt resolutions that detract from UNESCO’s core work and reputation, and impede our efforts to restore U.S. funding.

This resolution, given its politicized nature, does nothing to advance constructive results on the ground.

It is our strongly held view that these recurring politicized agenda items should not be brought before this Board, and certainly not adopted.

We hope in future sessions we can work together to dramatically change the Board’s approach to these issues to more fully reflect the values and core competencies of UNESCO.