Paris, 12 April 2018
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre Permanent Observer to UNESCO, Dr. Shimon Samuels, reported:
- Two resolutions were passed today, in the 204th UNESCO Executive Board, without debate or vote, based on consensus and resulting in great kudos for the new Director-General, Audrey Azoulay.
- Three spoiler statements followed passage:
. Turkey called for a fact-finding mission to Jerusalem.
. Indonesia expressed concern for the state of educational institutions in “Palestine”.
. Jordan accentuated that Jerusalem was in danger and would ruin the mandate of UNESCO.
On the other hand:
- The United States expressed gratification at the achievement of consensus, suggesting that these are resolutions that have torn UNESCO apart and that consensus should be the procedure for the World Heritage Committee and the next Executive Board.
- St. Lucia hoped that this be an example for depoliticisation also at the UN in New York.
- Israeli Ambassador, Carmel Shama HaCohen, congratulated the United States, the European Union, other states and the Secretariat, that had been involved in the negotiations.
The Israeli delegation made clear that this was a good kick start, but a tiny step in a long walk. One occasion is not sufficient to indicate change. Israel is still the only state singled out, but we trust the Director-General to keep the commitments made.
The session returned to its established agenda.