Global programs in literacy, gender equality and clean water initiatives will be impacted as a result of America suspending its dues to UNESCO totalling about $225 million dollars until 2013 - according to United States National Commissioner to UNESCO - Emilya Cachapero.
Hundreds of millions of people in third world countries stand to suffer as these programs are curtailed or abandoned because of this black hole opening up in UNESCO's recurrent funding - resulting from the admission of Palestine to membership of UNESCO on 31 October.
Two American domestic laws passed in the early-mid-90s specify that if Palestine becomes a full member in any UN agency, the US would end funds to that agency.
This legislation was designed to ensure that no unilateral action was taken by the Palestinian Authority to declare statehood outside the negotiations prescribed by the Oslo Agreements and the Bush Roadmap.
The global fall out from this loss of American funding - 22% of UNESCO's annual budget - has been spelled out In a highly revealing article "Ripples from Palestine Membership Into UNESCO" - written by Ms.Cachapero - the Theatre Communication Groups Director of Artistic Programs/International Theatre Institute - US.
Ms Cachapero indicated the fallout was going to be far wider than just UNESCO's programs:
However, the withdrawal of funds could also have huge repercussions throughout UN agencies and this is much bigger than just a UNESCO, UN or Palestine issue.
She points out that:
The UN meeting calendar is determining which other agencies are approached by Palestine to petition for full membership. The next agency meeting where Palestine is expected to request membership is the World Patents Organization and other meetings on the calendar include the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, and later the Atomic Energy Commission.
Obviously if Palestine is admitted to membership of these organizations - then American funding will automatically cease.
Ms Cachapero disagrees with the politicization of UNESCO - brought home very forcefully by Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Maliki who heralded Palestine's admission to membership of UNESCO in these terms:
Today's victory at UNESCO is the beginning of a road that is difficult, but will lead to the freedom of our land and people from occupation. Palestine has the right to a place on the map.
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