Explanation of Vote by the United States on item 201 EX/30

Explanation of Vote by the United States on item 201 EX/30

Statement as delivered on May 2, 2017


The United States expresses its strong opposition to this agenda item.  While changed somewhat from the draft decision text since the last Executive Board session, these revisions are still insufficient, and the very agenda item itself remains objectionable.

This resolution has divided the Board long enough.

We have spoken to many Board members and others about our serious concerns regarding this recurring, highly politicized agenda item that repeatedly and unfairly singles out Israel.  The response is often that while deepening politicization at UNESCO is a concern, it is not enough of a concern to reject a contentious resolution biased against Israel put forward by a group of Member States.

This divisive approach continues to erode UNESCO’s global prestige and jeopardizes not just its funding, but its excellent work on other pressing topics.

We thank the members of the Board who joined us in opposing this decision, and those who abstained.  We believe progress can be made on Israeli-Palestinian issues to the benefit of the parties, and UNESCO, but only if addressed in the appropriate venues.  To do otherwise is, in our view, injurious to the very peace we hope to achieve.

Thank you.