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While all eyes have been on the Palestinian Authority's bid for statehood at the United Nations, the PA has been busy pursuing other creative, if less formal and significant, ways to promote the idea and fact of a Palestinian state. Yesterday the Palestinian National Council won "Partner for Democracy Status" in the Council of Europe, the foremost human rights organization on the continent. And today the board of UNESCO, the UN's main cultural body, voted in favor of the Palestinian's draft resolution for membership in the organization (similar to their situation in the UN at large, the Palestinians have had observer status since 1974). The resolution will now be submitted to UNESCO's 193-member General Conference for a vote sometime within the next month.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO; pronounced /juːˈnɛskoʊ/) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Its stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights along with fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter. It is the heir of the League of Nations' International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation.