(Reuters) – UNESCO has suspended the voting rights of the United States and Israel, two years after both countries stopped paying dues to the U.N.’s cultural arm in protest over its granting full membership to the Palestinians.
The U.S. decision to cancel its funding in October 2011 was blamed on U.S. laws that prohibit funding to any U.N. agency that implies recognition of the Palestinians’ demands for their own state.
Israel also pulled its funding, objecting to what it called unilateral attempts by the Palestinians to gain recognition of statehood.
Both countries missed a 1100 GMT Friday deadline to provide an official justification for non-payment and a plan to pay back missed dues, a UNESCO source told Reuters. That automatically triggered suspension of their voting rights.