Explanation of Vote For Middle East Resolutions

As we stated at the 187th Executive Board, we are disappointed at the manner in which these items have been handled in recent sessions.  We especially regret that the concerned parties were not properly consulted on these texts.  The United States wants to return to consensus, but the sensitivity of these issues combined with this refusal to work together and negotiate forces us to call for a vote on these resolutions.  We have previously expressed concern about the use of UNESCO as a means to single out Israel, undermining UNESCO’s credibility.

The United States strongly encourages the Executive Board to seek an alternative to highly politicized decisions and seemingly permanent agenda items focused on one country.  However, we are extremely pleased that once again Jordan and Israel were willing to work together to find consensus on the text of Item 5, “the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem”.  This shows that where there is a will, there is always a way.”