Saturday 4 January 2014

UNESCO-US dues row: Rep urges committees on foreign affairs to restore status

The suspension of U.S. as a voting member of UNESCO may take a damaging effect on the country’s new potential world heritage designation.

A Federal legislator, Joaquin Castro, representing San Antonio, and  who is proposing a legislation to renew the U.S’ voting membership, according to reports, has argued that  the renewal “will aid chances for San Antonio's missions to gain world heritage status from the UNESCO.”

U.S halted its dues to UNESCO in 2011 based on a previous law, which prohibited funding to any organization that admitted Palestine as a member. And last November, UNESCO responded by  ousting the U.S  as a voting member for failure to pay dues.

Castro warned that failure to get the U.S back to the world body’s voting member status will cost the country losses in two folds: a study has shown that more jobs and $44 million to $105 million in economic impact would accrue to the U.S if the UNESCO designates the proposed world heritages site. Also, he stated that it makes no sense for the U.S to remain ousted from UNESCO, an organisation that harmonises the world's differences, effectively beter than guns." 

Castro therefore asked the House Committee Foreign Affairs to resume U.S. dues to UNESCO. 

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