We are very disappointed that this body, the UNESCO Executive Board, rather than live up to its lofty goals to build peace in the minds of men and women, once again chose to needlessly politicize these issues before us.
At a time when my country is working to foster communication and dialogue across the globe and creating consensus plans to address ongoing conflicts, such actions at UNESCO strike a highly discordant note, and are disheartening to us. This is supposed to be a place for peacebuilding. Now we have this Board faced with six — I repeat six — decisions directed at a single Member State. This is truly ridiculous, and obviously counter-productive.
Several times previously, this Board decided to defer discussion of these topics, and those deferrals happened when we did not have ongoing, direct negotiations happening between the two parties.
We ask you, are your actions today helping to build two states, living side by side? Are we working in this body to build trust and confidence?
Our support for a mission to Jerusalem and the terms of the Brasilia decision was predicated on building confidence between the parties, which we believed, and still believe, is essential. The mission was never, as some have noted falsely, to be an “investigation”. Such twisting of the facts further divides our efforts to build peace and foster reconciliation.
We are encouraged, however, that several delegations did see fit not to support such divisive actions in this body.
We also applaud the decision of the European Union not to support a new, sixth resolution directed at Israel.