The Obama Administration took a firm stance against the decision by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to vote on extending membership to the Palestinians. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her opposition Wednesday during a press conference:
I ... would urge the governing body of UNESCO to think again before proceeding with that vote because the decision about status must be made in the United Nations and not in auxiliary groups that are subsidiary to the United Nations.
Clinton noted that the United States, which pays 22 percent of UNESCO’s dues, might be required by law to cut off funding for the agency if it were to accept the Palestinians as a member.
‘We are certainly aware of strong legislative prohibition that prevents the United States from funding organizations that jump the gun, so to speak, in recognizing entities before they are fully ready for such recognition,’ Clinton said.
Maintaining the position that peace between Israel and the Palestinians will only develop through direct negotiations between the parties, Clinton continued:
Unfortunately there are those who, in their enthusiasm to recognize the aspirations of the Palestinian people, are skipping over the most important step which is determining what the state will look like, what its borders are, how it will deal with the myriad issues that states must address.