Does UNESCO’s Resolution to Condemn Israel Conflict with its Mission?

, April 17, 2016

Adam Shay interviews Amb. Alan Baker.

Q: The UN agency UNESCO voted last week to condemn Israel for actions on the Temple Mount and Western Wall Plaza. Does UNESCO’s resolution conflict with its mission?

Amb. Alan Baker: Absolutely, it 100% undermines the purpose of the organization, as established in its constitution that was adopted in 1945. The constitution basically sets up an organization that is intended to act against ignorance as a cause for suspicion and mistrust between peoples, against the denial of dignity, equality and mutual respect, against ignorance and prejudice, in favor of the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind, and in favor of the unrestricted pursuit of objective truth. All these basic constitutional principles, which are the mission of UNESCO, have been undermined, upturned, and violated by this absurd resolution which is exactly the opposite. It’s based on lies, it’s based on mistruth, it sows disrespect and denial of dignity, and it does everything that UNESCO isn’t supposed to do. In legal terms, it’s ultra vires the very existence of UNESCO. UNESCO is serving, in a very similar way to the UN Human Rights Council, as a propaganda body which has been hijacked by a majority of like-minded states who have a political agenda which is principally against Israel but also against the West. It’s undermining the reputation of the United Nations and causing a lot of harm.

About Amb. Alan Baker

Amb. Alan Baker is Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center and the head of the Global Law Forum. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada.