Top UNESCO meeting to vote on US role, Kosovo membership

AP , Tuesday 3 Nov 2015

Top diplomats are gathering in Paris for a UNESCO conference where they will decide whether to grant Kosovo membership and how much sway the United States will have in the organization.

The Obama administration is lobbying to keep the U.S. seat on the scientific and cultural agency's influential executive board, though the United States stopped paying its dues after UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member in 2011. A decision on the board is expected during the two-week conference, which opens Tuesday.

The U.S. used to provide about 22 percent of UNESCO's budget, but U.S. law prohibits contributions to international organizations that recognize Palestinian statehood.

The Kosovo vote is expected around Nov. 9.

The conference includes a session with world leaders including Iran's president, and another on combating extremism through education.

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