In secret ballot, cultural body’s World Heritage Committee approves text using only the site’s Muslim name; 10 states vote in favor, 2 oppose, 8 abstain
An important panel at the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday morning approved a controversial resolution that ignores Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount. The decision came a week after a similar resolution was approved by the body and elicited angry responses from Israel, several world leaders and even the body’s own director-general.
Convening at its annual meeting in Paris, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee adopted Draft Resolution 40COM 7A.13, entitled “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls,” by a large majority, with 10 countries voting in favor, eight abstaining and two opposing the text. Eight “yes” votes were needed for the resolution to pass.
Jamaica was absent and did not participate in the vote.
This year’s member countries of the committee made things particularly difficult for Israeli diplomats battling the resolution. Germany, Colombia and Japan, all sympathetic nations to Israel, are no longer involved, and in their place are Tunisia, Kuwait, Lebanon and Indonesia, bringing to nine the total number of Muslim countries. Those nine and Vietnam were all assumed to have voted for the resolution. Poland, Finland, Croatia, Portugal, the four European countries, had indicated they would abstain.
The 21 nations with voting rights on the World Heritage Committee were: Finland, Poland, Portugal, Croatia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Cuba, Jamaica, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Angola and Tanzania. (Click to Article)