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The United States announced last Monday that it would refuse to pay its 2011 funding commitment to the United Nations' lead cultural and educational body following that organisation’s decision to admit Palestine as a full member.
Worth $US60 million ($A56.6 million) the annual contribution provides 22% of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Member State levied contributions to its regular budget .
The announcement followed shortly after the UNESCO General Conference of its 194 Member States decided that morning to admit Palestine as its 195th Member by an overwhelming 107 in favor to 14 votes against – with 52 abstentions.
Lined up in favor of Palestine’s admission were Russia, China, Greece, Turkey, Brazil, France, Belgium and Austria amongst many others. Against, were the US, Israel, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and Australia along with seven others. Portugal, Colombia, Bosnia-Herzogovina, and the UK abstained as did 48 other Member States.