ROME - Unesco's General Conference has voted in favour of Palestine's accession as a full member: a decision that has provoked splits and controversy within the international community. In the words of the US representative, who spoke after the resolution was passed in favour of the Palestinians, the USA "cannot accept" Palestine's membership.
And the Israeli representative called the green light "a tragedy".
In all, 107 nations voted in favour of Palestine's accession, with 52 - including Italy - abstaining and 14 voting No. The USA, Germany and Israel were among those voting against, while there was uproar in the chamber at the yes votes from such countries as France, Belgium, Spain, Austria and Russia. These latter votes were greeted with applause from many of the delegations. In a word, Europe was split at the moment of voting.
"This is a truly historic moment which returns to Palestine one of its rights", Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki told the Unesco General Conference. And Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressed great satisfaction. As quoted by spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina, he said: "Palesine's admission to Unesco is a victory for rights, justice and freedom". (...)