On Tuesday 13th December the Palestinian flag shall be raised over the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The symbolic jesture marks Palestine’s admission to the organization.
Controversial only to those that deal in politics instead of science. As a consequence of the decision in October to admit Palestine as a member of the organisation the US threatened to pull funding.
“They’ve made a decision and they will pay the consequences for their decision, and that is that U.S. tax dollars are not going to be spent, if I have anything to do with it, on organizations that take the measures they’ve taken.” — Sen. John McCain referring to UNESCO.
As a consequence UNESCO is now suffering from a funding shortfall to the tune of $65million, and has sought to bridge the gap by taking donations.
We’ve talked before of a scientific code of conduct — but what about the basis of a scientific human right. Namely, the right of scientists throughout the world to participate in scientific activity without any discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin, religion, citizenship, language, political stance, gender, sex or age. And surely Palestine’s inclusion to UNESCO is within that same spirit.