Palestinians should defer agency bids - Ban

2011-11-03 21:19

Cannes - Palestinian efforts to join UN agencies beyond its cultural arm are "not beneficial for anybody" and could lead to cuts in funding sure to affect millions of people, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon warned on Thursday.

In an Associated Press interview, the UN chief reiterated the world body's support for a viable, independent Palestinian state - but lamented the Palestinian Authority's efforts to join UN affiliates before the UN itself.

Ban also expressed hope for greater participation of women and youths in Libya's future government, and praised a new Arab League deal with Syria aiming to end President Bashar Assad's bloody crackdown on protesters.

Potential funding woes for UN agencies were high in Ban's mind.

The Palestinians have asked the Security Council to grant them full membership in the United Nations, and a vote is tentatively set for November 11 - but the United States, a stalwart Israeli ally, has vowed to veto the request.

Since their application in September, the Palestinians have sought to join other UN agencies in which the US doesn't have veto power on membership issues.

US law bars contributions to organisations that grant membership to territories that aren't internationally recognised states.

The United States and Canada are now cutting off funds for Unesco because the Paris-based agency - stripping it of about one-quarter of its total funding.

The Palestinian Authority plans to apply for membership in 16 other UN specialised agencies - even though Ban has repeatedly pressed Palestinians to wait for the UN Security Council decision.

"I believe this is not beneficial for Palestine and not beneficial for anybody," he said, noting that UN agencies need both financial and political support.

"When an organisation is not properly functioning because of a lack of resources, you have to think about the millions and millions of people who are being impacted and affected," he said.

Ban said he was "asking and urging member states" to make up for the shortfall in funding for Unesco and other agencies.

One top Palestinian leader shot back at Ban, suggesting the UN chief should lean on US lawmakers.

"I think it would be easier for Mr Ban Ki-Moon to ask the Congress to change their laws," Saeb Erekat said. "I don't think Palestine's admittance to any of these agencies will bring harm."


Fresh off a trip to Libya, Ban said he pointed out to leaders of the National Transitional Council, which took over after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year regime, that only two women were on its council.

"In the process of drafting legislation and constitutions, and making a new Libya, it is crucially important that womens' rights and opportunities in social, economic and political fields should be promoted," Ban said.

As for Syria, the UN chief said his "sincere advice and appeal" to President Bashar Assad was to quickly implement his pledges under a deal with the Arab League announced on Wednesday.

Under the plan, Damascus agreed to stop violence against protesters, release all political prisoners and begin a dialogue with the opposition within two weeks.

It also agreed to allow journalists, rights groups and Arab League representatives to monitor the situation in the country.

Activists in Syria said at least 20 people died on Thursday after government tanks fired upon Homs, a city at the centre of the nearly eight-month uprising against Assad's regime.

"He promised to the League of Arab States that this violence - violent measures of addressing these demonstrations - will stop. I hope he will keep his promise," Ban said of the Wednesday deal.

Assad hasn't kept his word before: He told Ban by telephone in August that military operations in Syria had ended, and the bloodshed has continued since then.

  • MiriamBawden - 2011-11-04 07:38

    Thank you US and Canada! You cannot let terrorists become apart of the UN!

      Boaz - 2011-11-04 10:16

      Actually Miriam, UNESCO played right into Western hands. The United States Congress and, evidently, Canada, have long been seeking a way to stop throwing money into that bottomless pit that is UNESCO and other U.N. agencies, and the Palestinians made it all possible. UNESCO has lost one-quarter of its funding, and it will lose considerably more when Germany and other European nations (with economic woes of their own aplenty) follow the lead of the United States, Canada and Israel. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of uneducated, unscientific and DEFINITELY uncultured United Nations

  • MiriamBawden - 2011-11-04 07:38

    Thank you US and Canada! You cannot let terrorists become apart of the UN!

      Adam - 2011-11-04 09:51

      mohammed, your warped islamic view of the world clearly explains how the palestinians can behave the way they do and feel no shame. try and notice the bloodshed in parkistan, iraq and syria all caused by none other then your own people. then look at the blood shed in somalia and parts of nigeria, and give your self another pat on the back for what your culture has given to the world. your arab propoganda fills the world with lies, for some one that is so passionate about terrible the united states and israel are, you seem more then contempt to live a western life style.... i have vissited this israel you describe as a zealot, and i have seen with my own eyes muslims living a free life being treated no differently to jews or christians. i have also been to egypt and seen the ruins of jewish synagogues that were destroyed because all jews were expelled and all jeiwsh land marks destroyed, the same in every arab country. i would love to know which mosque you get your iunformation from, so i can report them for hate speech, and even giving out information which is note true ultimatly leading to hate speech. your lies to the world do not fool anyone but your selves. why dont you go do something constructive and make a noise about syria, innocent people are actually being murderd there. start using your brain more and listening to a corrupted system less

      Adam - 2011-11-04 10:04

      comparing hitler to israel.... well anyone who was maybe believing you stopped at that point, another hate driven lie. hitler actually intended on wiping a nation off the face off the earth, constructing plantations with no other use then to mass murder entire communities - im sure you believe this is another zionist conspiracy because you are such an uneducated, propaganda fueled idiot - 6000000 jews lost their lives - i dont doubt you believe the number was closer to 0. what made this period in time even more horrific was that the nazis who carried out these executions were not hardened soldiers, they were ordinary people of society, engineers, lawyers, even doctors joined the cause to exterminate the jews of the world. plaestinians who are killed are either killed on purpose for being terrorists, or they are killed as collateral damage, something that occurs when a bomb maker surrounds him self with innocent children knowing he is about to be killed. wonderful people the amazing thing about the palestinians is that the people that commit rocket attacks, become suicide bombers, or plan the murders of innocent israeli citizens, are also ordinary civilians and not war hardened fighters.. some are university students, some are engineers, some are green grocers and some are even doctors. perhaps now(maybe not u as u are so brain washed its scary) people can see the parallels between palestinians and nazis. ill sit here all day and tell the truth while you tell lie

      MiriamBawden - 2011-11-04 13:44

      Yawn! Same old BS. I am a Jewish Zionist and naturally have been to Israel. Not only have I been to Israel but to the squatters side aswell. Another thing STOP calling our home apartheid you sound SO stupid. Do you know what apartheid means?! And again YAWN, comparing us to hitler is SO old.

  • Mthuthuzeli - 2011-11-04 08:07

    The admittance of Palestine into UNESCO shows that the US no longer has the moral authority to impose its will on the rest of the world, the world is once again changing and this time it looks like America is being left behind rather than leading.

      Jaba - 2011-11-04 09:48

      "Ban said "millions and millions" of people could be affected if UN agencies see their funding cut as a result of the Palestinian bids" Those who voted in behalf of "those millions and millions" should have thought it twice before their vote. Anyway there are millions and millions of rich Arab nations that can "fill the blank" with petro-dollars You reap what you sow, UN & the PLO.

  • Jaba - 2011-11-04 09:25

    Let UNESCO come up with the cash It will give that hypocritical organization a chance to put its money where its mouth is -- literally, in this case. Surely they will find a way to cough up the $260 million lost from Israel, USA & Canada (with other nations to follow suit, as well). Actions have consequences. Stupid actions have devastating consequences. A concept the Palestinians have not managed to grasp in seven decades. Perhaps the Saudis can hold a telethon.

  • Ricardo - 2011-11-04 12:45

    How does America wish to mediate PEACE when its policies etc. are deeply enslaved to Israel (the President cant even change)? What does direct PEACE talks really mean when Israel wants Jerusalem (not recognized by the UN) as its ETERNAL Capital (who gave them the authority)? And if Palestine is recognized by other UN bodies (WHO IAEA, etc,) and America stops paying its dues, What role does America then play in these UN bodies?

      Adam - 2011-11-04 13:05

      to believe america is controlled by jews, who make up 0,05% of american population simply shows how the uneducated fear jews. fear them for what i do not know. could have something to do with arab propoganda. if reality is anything to go by, then OPEC, the arab owned oil producing cartels, should be the ones who truley run the world.... even the might usa crumbles when there is no oil.... just a thought

      MiriamBawden - 2011-11-04 13:47

      Exactly Adam, I forever hear that we (Jews) "own" American. But ofcourse for someone to support us we must control them. Pathetic. Ricardo - Jerusalem is our capital - learn some history PLEASE and go visit Israel and then come talk.

      Adam - 2011-11-04 13:54

      who said im jewish? it dousnt take a only a jew to see what the world has become, with israel in the middle as its whipping boy. when israel falls to these monsters(hahah it never will) then the world will crumble to what they consider the meaning of life - not happy times

      MiriamBawden - 2011-11-04 14:16

      I was referring to myself and all fellow Jews ) But thank you for your support!! It really does mean the world to us.

  • Ricardo - 2011-11-04 23:22

    Who was the first to recognize Israel? After Israel, were are the Jews the most? When in History? Around the same time there was no Whites, etc. owning any land in SA?

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