PLO's Negotiations Affairs Department said in a press release issued yesterday, Wednesday 17th October, that Member of the PLO Executive Committee in charge of the Department of Culture and Information, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, welcomed vote in UNESCO on five resolutions regarding Palestine. "We are confident that the UNESCO resolutions that are in the process of being approved will enhance Palestine's position to protect our heritage sites, including in and around Occupied East Jerusalem. These sites are of great significance to millions around the world. They are a part of the world's heritage whose importance and influence on civilization continues to be felt today."
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The Executive Board of UNESCOThe Executive Board of UNESCO, composed of 58 countries, will vote on the inclusion of sites in Occupied East Jerusalem, as well as on educational and cultural rights all over Palestine. The list of resolutions to be approved includes: Implementation of 36 C/Resolution 43 and 187 EX/Decision 5 relating to the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem (follow-up to 189 EX/Decision 5 (II)) – Presented by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The two Palestinian sites of al-Haram al Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in al-Khalil/Hebron and the Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem" (189 EX/9)
Implementation of 36 C/Resolution 81 and 187 EX/Decision 41 concerning educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories (189 EX/19).
The reconstruction and development of Gaza: implementation of 187 EX/Decision 42 (189 EX/20)
Jerusalem and the implementation of 36 C/Resolution 43 and 187 EX/Decision 11 (189 EX/8)
Dr. Ashrawi added: "Last year, Palestine became a full UNESCO member, being the first UN organization to which we were admitted as full members. This is part of the history of our people's struggle for self-determination. Just as we succeeded in placing the Old City of Bethlehem, including the Nativity Church, on the World Heritage List, we will continue pressing for other sites in Palestine to be protected and to gain the international status that they deserve."
In her concluding remarks, Dr. Ashrawi called upon the international community to "support all Palestinian diplomatic moves to ensure the achievement of the Palestinian people's inalienable rights. The ability to protect our cultural heritage sites is part of our right to self-determination. We are advancing towards freedom and independence using all the tools available to us within the framework of international law, including our admission as a State to the United Nations and all of its specialized agencies."