UNESCO Welcomes Resumption of “Constructive Dalogue” on Middle East

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

Paaris, MINA — UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on Thursday welcomed a resumption of “constructive dialogue” in the UN body with regard to important Middle East issues and the protection and support of cultural heritage in “Occupied Palestine,” KUNA reported, ciiting a statement.

The top official at UNESCO said that she welcomed “the spirit of dialogue and responsibility that has allowed a consensual decision” in Commission work that will now be put to the Executive Board of the Paris-based body regarding the Middle East, notably on Holy Sites in Jerusalem and sites in Hebron, Gaza and other areas.

Azoulay praised the emergence of “a new positive dynamic within UNESCO” and she welcomed the contributions to this made by the Palestinian, Israeli, Jordanian, American and European Union delegations.

The United States and Israel have, for several years, ceased active participation and do not pay contributions because of their objection to Palestine being admitted to UNESCO as a full member.

But Azoulay said that UNESCO would continue to act as “dialogue facilitator” between all parties at the organisation, who have agreed to move forward towards consensus on the relevant cultural issues in the region.

“This outcome bears witness to the Parties’ strong commitment to work together, including on the most sensitive issues. The will to achieve consensus is part of UNESCO’s DNA and must guide our work in the future, particularly during the upcoming discussions at the World Heritage Committee and within the governing bodies of the Organization,” she said.

The consensual Commission decision between the various parties on various sites will now be put before the Executive Board on April 17 for discussion and approval, (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

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