WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15), a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, issued the following statement on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) granting full membership to the Palestinians.
“UNESCO’s granting of full membership to the Palestinians undermines international efforts to develop sustainable peace in the Middle East. Maneuvers like this provide no incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel and global partners in good-faith. Olympic sprinters don’t earn medals for running only 50 yards, nor should the Palestinians be rewarded by the international community with UNESCO membership midway through the peace process.
“U.S. law states American financial support for UNESCO must end if the organization grants full membership to the Palestinians. Rather than attempting to modify existing law in order to continue supporting UNESCO, the Obama Administration must stand with a growing number of bipartisan officials who believe the current American policy is appropriate and responsible. Palestinians and the international community must understand that full membership in U.N. entities should only be granted after significant steps toward sustainable peace have been achieved.”
In early October, Rep. Dent signed a bipartisan letter to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, warning that the recognition of Palestine as a Member State would “jeopardize future financial contributions to UNESCO by the United States” and encouraging the organization to avoid a vote on extending full membership.