Egypt Independent

Armenian culture minister: US funding withdrawal will not hinder UNESCO work



Armenian Minister of Culture and Youth Affairs Hasmik Poghosyan said Thursday that the United States' decision to stop contributing to the UNESCO budget following the organization's recognition of Palestine, will not affect its work negatively.

Poghosyan said her country was among those who overwhelmingly voted in October in support of making Palestine a UNESCO member. 

The US contributes 22 percent of UNESCO's budget and said after the vote that it was bound by law not to fund any United Nations body that accepts Palestine as a member.

On the sidelines of signing a cultural cooperation protocol among Egypt and Armenia, Poghosyan said "UNESCO had earlier witnessed a harder situation when Washington withdrew from the organization rejecting withdrawal of Israeli membership. However, it continued its work to boost cultural relationships and preserving international heritage."

UNESCO will not be affected by the halt of US, Canadian and Israeli funding, she added, saying work will resume. Russia increased its support for the organization following Washington's decision.

UNESCO selected the Armenian capital Yerevan as the 2012 world's capital for books on the 500th anniversary of Armenia's first publication. Poghosyan invited her Egyptian counterpart to attend the celebration that will be held in Venice, Italy in December.

Translated from the Arabic Edition