by Ângelo Alves

"UNESCO and Imperialism"

Translated "Avante" article by Ângelo Alves, Member of the PCP Political Committee

Both, the USA administration and the Israeli government announced their conjoint retirement from the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture: the UNESCO.

Currently, it is of great importance to underline two prior questions.

The first is that the UNESCO is an UN’s organization, holding a vast and important mission. Its creation, in 1945, just upon World War II ending, resulted from the idea that “political and economic agreements are not enough to establish long lasting peace”. According to its first documents that very same peace ought to be built on the basis of dialogue among nations and cultures. The respect for diversity and cultural dialogue; education as an universal right; the access for all – in particular for children – to science improvement; freedom of expression; the right of children and citizens, in general, to development and human dignity, the latter being some of the proclaimed values by UNESCO. And it is from this international structure and its mission that the USA and Israel step down.

The second note is that on what concerns the USA, this decision is not both unique nor from Trump’s exclusive responsibility. Reagan’s administration, in 1984, took a similar decision, only reverted 18 years after, in 2002. And Obama’s administration, in 2011,suspended, up to the present day, the membership share payment, in the sequence of Palestine’s admission as a full right member of the UNESCO, Israel having proceeded in the same manner. And currently, both in a coordinated decision, decided to abandon the UNESCO.

The USA and Israel abandon the UNESCO for not tolerating Palestine having the same equal treatment as all worldwide states. Moreover, they step down, as UNESCO classified many of Palestine’s sites as risk World Heritage, as the old town of Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque. As UNESCO “dared” to criticize Israel on its policy in Jerusalem, concerning the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, along with the new director-general’s designation process with a strong probability of being an Arab (from Qatar or Egypt) which did not occur, having been appointed Audrey Azoulay, a minister of Culture, in Hollande’s cabinet.

However, this decision did not surprise those who, for a very long time had denounced the UN manipulation by the great powers. After all, the true fact amid this story, is that Israel has been granted a scandalous impunity concerning the committed illegalities. Israel and the USA are the authors of some of the greatest United Nations Charter violations and of numerous resolutions from the General Assembly and the Security Council.

But the UNESCO case produces two more elements. The first, the need of a UN reform , that ought to valorise the General Assembly role. The second, this fact proves what has been said, that the USA only but respects or calls upon the UN and International Law whenever it meets its objectives, otherwise it openly disrespects and declares war. And that is not an exclusive Trump point of view. It is the world’s imperialism vision.

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