Thursday, October 20, 2016

UNESCO resolution latest

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH (FROM YESTERDAY - IT SEEMS I FORGOT TO PRESS "PUBLISH"): UNESCO ratifies Jerusalem resolution, Mexico withdraws support. Under pressure from Western states, Mexico backed away from its initial intention to call for a new vote on the resolution so that it could withdraw its support from the resolution (Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post).
UNESCO’s Executive Board on Tuesday afternoon ratified a 24-6 vote taken last week on a resolution that ignored Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.

Under pressure from Western states, Mexico backed away from its initial intention to call for a new vote on the resolution so that it could withdraw its support from the resolution.

Instead Mexico noted for the record that its position on the matter was one of abstention, but its statement does not technically change the vote numerical count as the 58-member board wrapped up its 200th session in Paris.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry posted a statement on its web site that it had abstained in recognition of the undeniable Jewish cultural heritage that is located in east Jerusalem.

It added that it was also doing so out of a deep appreciation for the contribution the Jewish community has played in Mexico’s economic, social and cultural development.

Brazil also spoke at the final board session and indicated that it was unlikely to support such resolutions in the future.

This is getting complicated, isn't it? Then there's this: Mexico fires Jewish ambassador who protested UNESCO vote, but will now abstain
RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — Mexico has fired its ambassador to UNESCO, Andre Roemer, who is Jewish, for protesting against his country’s decision to vote for a resolution denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem.

“For not having informed diligently and with meticulousness of the context in which the voting process occurred, for reporting to representatives of countries other than Mexico about the sense of his vote, and for making public documents and official correspondence subject to secrecy,” read the official statement released on Oct. 17.

However, the Latin American country announced it will now change its vote from “in favor” to abstain on the proposal concerning the preservation of cultural heritage and religion in eastern Jerusalem.

“Changing the vote reiterates the recognition that the government of Mexico gives to the undeniable link of the Jewish people to cultural heritage located in East Jerusalem. It also reflects the deep appreciation that this government has for the Jewish community and in particular for their significant contributions to the welfare and economic, social and cultural development of Mexico,” the statement also said.

To recap: Mexico fired the ambassador who walked out of the UNESCO meeting (on the grounds that he did not properly fulfil some specific obligations of his job), but also announced that it wished to change its vote from approving the resolution to abstaining on it. And Brazil voted for this resolution but said it is unlikely to do so again in similar situations in the future. Meanwhile, UNESCO's Executive Board ratified the original vote (despite a report yesterday that they were taking a new vote), so all the talk around it is just talk. Important talk, though, because it appears to weaken the authority of the resolution and, by extension, of UNESCO. And appearances count for a lot in the realm of diplomacy.

Background here and links.