Press Release: Statement by Ambassador Nikki Haley on the Decision by UNESCO to Designate Hebron’s Old City and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as a World

July 7, 2017


UNESCO has voted to designate the Old City of Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as part of Palestinian territory and a World Heritage site despite protests by the United States, Israel, and other countries.

“The UNESCO vote on Hebron is tragic on several levels. It represents an affront to history. It undermines the trust that is needed for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to be successful. And it further discredits an already highly questionable UN agency. Today’s vote does no one any good and causes much harm,” said Ambassador Haley.

In 2011, in compliance with statutory funding restrictions, the United States stopped funding UNESCO after it admitted the Palestinians as a Member State. While the United States is still on the 58-member UNESCO Executive Board, it no longer has voting rights in the UNESCO General Conference. The United States is currently evaluating the appropriate level of its continued engagement at UNESCO.