Congratulations Canada, Re: Canada decides not to make up UNESCO funding shortfalls, Reuters, November 1, 2011

The Government of Canada has announced that Canada will not help UNESCO make up budget shortfalls it faces as a result of the United States cancelling funding to the United Nations agency because of its decision to grant full membership to the Palestinian Authority.

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The U.S. action was taken because American law mandated it, not because President Obama wanted to do it. Obama being Obama there is no doubt he didn’t want to do it and did it only because he had to, because he couldn’t figure out a way not to. See the previous post, United States cancelling of Unesco funding may be a precursor to cancelling United Nations funding as well, for more information on this. Since America provided approximately 22% of UNESCO’s 650 million dollar annual budget its action has led to a huge financial shortfall for the agency and officials are appealing to other countries to make it up through voluntary contributions over and above the amount they normally give.

The Government of Canada has decided not to do so and will also be freezing all further contributions to UNESCO. The Government made this decision for moral and ethical reasons. It was based on principle and was taken simply because it was the right thing to do, not because of any legal restrictions. That makes it even more laudatory.

Congratulations Prime Minister Harper and Foreign Minister Baird. Congratulations Canada. Hopefully other countries will follow your lead and do the right thing too.

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