UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is worried by the collapse of the Middle East peace talks brokered by Jordan and by the Palestinians’ drive for UN recognition. In an interview with Haaretz, Ban said he is concerned by possible damage to various UN institutions if the Palestinian Authority presses ahead with its membership requests to them. The stalled peace talks under the auspices of King Abdullah only started last month.
“The Palestinians’ aspirations for a state must be realized as part of a negotiation process,” Ban says, adding the aspiration to establish a sovereign Palestinian state is long overdue.
This is Ban’s third visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the first during his second term as UN secretary-general.
While the Palestinians’ bid for full UN membership is still stuck in the UN Security Council, the PA was received as a member in UNESCO. Consequently, the American administration cut back the organization’s annual budget, causing immediate damage. Plans and projects were suspended, salaries were slashed and employees were fired.
The Palestinians are threatening to request membership in 16 other UN agencies, especially if the talks with Israel in Amman quagmire.
“Admission of the Palestinians and funding of UN agencies are separate issues, but unfortunately they has been linked in practical terms and that is what I am very much concerned about,” he said.
For more, go to Haaretz.com