Palestinian flag to be raised at UNESCO headquarters

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki (L) and Palestinian ambassador to UNESCO Elias Sanbar will be present during the flag raising ceremony on December 13, 2011.

PARIS: United Nations cultural agency UNESCO said Wednesday the Palestinian flag would be raised at its Paris headquarters on December 13 after Palestine won full membership despite Israeli and US objections.

The flag will be raised “to mark Palestine’s admission to the organisation” in the presence of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, as well as Foreign Minister Riad Maliki. The President of the UNESCO’s General Conference Katalin Bogyay and the Chairperson of the Organisation’s Executive Board Alissandra Cummins, will also be present.

UNESCO’s General Conference admitted Palestine as the Organization’s 195th Member on 31 October. Membership became official on 23 November, when Palestine signed and accepted UNESCO’s Constitution at the National Archives in London — a move seen as a step towards its eventual recognition as a UN member state.

The move prompted Israel and the United States to pull the plug on their UNESCO funding.

Legislation dating from the 1990s requires the US administration, Israel’s staunchest ally, to withdraw funding from any UN agency that admits Palestine as a full member before a final peace deal is reached with Israel.

(tribune.com.pk / 08.12.2011)

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