Obama ‘Remains Deeply Committed to UNESCO’ Despite Vote to Admit Palestine

Delegates cheer after they approved Palestine's membership in a vote of 107-14 with 52 abstentions, during the session of UNESCO's 36th General Conference, in Paris, Monday Oct. 31, 2011. Palestine became a full member of the U.N. cultural and educational agency Monday, in a highly divisive move that the United States and other opponents say could harm renewed Mideast peace efforts. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

(CNSNews.com) – The United States was re-elected to the Executive Board of the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday, two days after the agency’s admission of “Palestine” forced the Obama administration reluctantly to cut off funding in compliance with U.S. laws.

The U.S. obtained 146 votes out of a possible 186 from UNESCO’s General Conference for a seat on the board for the 2011-2015 period.

It was the lowest score of the six countries elected to the board from the Western group (the others were Austria, Britain, France, Italy and Spain) and was also lower than the votes obtained by Cuba (159) and Russia (162).

Although the administration announced Monday that it was halting funding for UNESCO, beginning with $60 million it had been intending to pay this month, the U.S. envoy to the agency, David Killion, stressed that continuing U.S. participation was not in doubt....

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