When the World Heritage Convention was first created in 1972, it was the first international effort to recognize and protect both natural and cultural heritage from a global perspective. While the convention is the world’s most successful and popular one, with the most state signatories, it also occasionally is a forum for political clashes. In 2011, UNESCO, the UN entity that administers the World Heritage Centre, voted to admit Palestine as a member, resulting in an immediate withholding of funds from the United States (a situation that is still in effect). During the current on-going meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland, a proposal was put forth ostensibly to help protect East Jerusalem and in particular the Old City, but the wording highlighted the political nature of the tinderbox that is the Middle East.
Israel slams UNESCO vote that calls it 'occupying power’
By The Associated Press
July 5, 2017