United States Explanation of Position Delivered after adoption by consensus On Items 25/26 – “Occupied Palestine” and Arab Education Institutions

UNESCO 204th Executive Board

April 12, 2018

Madame Chairwoman; distinguished colleagues;

The U.S. delegation warmly welcomes the progress demonstrated here today and congratulates the parties for taking the steps necessary for a constructive approach to a very difficult and sensitive file.

Joined by other delegations concerned about how this issue has consistently damaged UNESCO’s reputation and its ability to deliver on its programmatic agenda, we are pleased to have contributed to this positive outcome.

We also call attention to assurances made during negotiations by the main parties to continue working in the same constructive spirit of cooperation and consensus, in both the World Heritage Committee this June/July in Bahrain, and at next fall’s 205th Executive Board session, for the benefit of the new DG, the organization, and the success of UNESCO’s important mandate.

The general approach and mechanism utilized to reach agreement on these two resolutions agreed here today, similar to the 202nd session of the Executive Board, are a useful model that can help avoid conflict at the World Heritage Committee session in Bahrain, and should be drawn upon.

We call upon all members of the Executive Board to help ensure continued progress down this pathway of cooperation, and to assist the Secretariat as appropriate in the elaboration of relevant technical proposals – in the interest of peace, and in the furtherance of UNESCO’s mandate.  We thank you for your attention.