After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Palestine accepted by UNESCO

See video
Teaser image by Wall in Palestine via Creative Commons, video via Russia Today

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is mulling the future of Canada's $10 million contributions to UNESCO after the United States announced it will pull $60 million USD in funding following Palestine's acceptance as a full member by the international agency.

The Canadian Press has the story:

OTTAWA - Ottawa is reconsidering how much support it gives UNESCO, now that the United Nations agency has accepted the Palestinian Authority as a full member.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says he is not happy with the recent decision by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and is examining options.

Baird says he appreciates much of the work UNESCO undertakes, but is having second thoughts.

The United States has just announced it will pull its US$60 million in funding from UNESCO.

Canada contributes about Cdn$10 million a year to the agency.

"We are not happy with the decision UNESCO has made, and we have to look and see what we should do in response,'' Baird said.

"I think UNESCO does important work that our government can support, but we are not happy with this decision, so we are in the midst of looking at our future participation,'' he said.

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department said Monday that the U.S. will maintain its membership and participation in the body, though it was not immediately clear how that would work if it was no longer paying its share of the costs.

UNESCO depends heavily on U.S. funding, Washington provides 22 per cent of its budget, but has survived without it in the past.

The UNESCO vote represented a fallback plan for the Palestinian leadership that presented its plan for UN recognition as a state and full membership in the global body in September.

Israel has fiercely opposed the bid, and it has no chance of passing because the Obama administration has promised to veto any resolution in the Security Council.

More in Middle East

Disabled children in Iraq struggle to survive amid Mosul fighting

Fleeing civilains must traverse areas that are still within mortar range of nearby militants and are regularly shelled

After the Paris attacks, connecting with each other and ourselves

Speaking with those in Paris during the attacks and a friend from the Middle East — give human context to a terrible event.

Why China should still care about a restive Arab World: The SinoFile

There are plenty of Bouazizi's in Beijing.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.