Home The Embassy News and Press Release Statement by Dr. Riad Malki, Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine, regarding UNESCO Director-General's Statement

Statement by Dr. Riad Malki, Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine, regarding UNESCO Director-General's Statement

Monday, 17 October 2016 13:43

Dr. Riad Malki, the Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine, stated on October 15th, 2016 that the Director General of UNESCO has out stepped the scope of her mandate by speaking out against a resolution adopted by the Executive Board of the organization.

This unusual and unacceptable position is an affront to the sovereignty of the Governing Body of Unesco. Further, Ms. Bokova’s declaration undermines the work and authority of the Executive Board and is hence completely unacceptable.

Ms. Bokova chose to appease the PR bullying campaign, run by Israel, against the resolution which addresses illegal Israeli practices in occupied East Jerusalem, including violations of the right of Palestinians - Christian and Moslem – to access their holy sites in the occupied capital and elsewhere in Palestine. She willfully ignored the text of the resolution, which reiterates Jerusalem’s character as a city central to the three monotheistic religions.

The UNESCO Director General would be better advised to implement the mandate of the organization and safeguard cultural and heritage sites, like the Old City of Jerusalem, from the continued violations and transgressions it has endured for decades. Rather than serving the provocative and misleading agenda of those cynically sidetracking  the discussion to issues irrelevant to the content and objectives of adopted resolutions.

Ms. Bokova should focus her efforts on implementing the will of member states and preserving Jerusalem from the occupying power’s systematic colonization, including its assault on the character of the City and the basic rights of its Palestinian residents. 

Finally, and in line with her mandate, we expect Ms. Bokova future public declarations to address the ongoing colonial policies in Palestine, which systematically assault and target our rich heritage, cultural, and religious sites, undermining coexistence and tolerance. We also expect to hear her indignation at Israel’s continued provocations of religious fervor through allowing raids of the Haram Al-Sharif by political and religious leaders who openly call for the destruction of the holy compound.

Palestine will continue to defend itself through available legal and Multilateral fora. We will not be intimidated by spin and PR bullying and efforts to divert attention from Israel’s violations and disregard for international law. Our resolve to protect Palestine’s heritage as a bastion of tolerance and coexistence is unwavering and we appreciate the principled support of states who stand up to these fallacious campaigns and stand tall in defense of international law and the rights enshrined therein.