Russia, Serbia prevent Kosovo’s UNESCO membership

Kosovo fails to become UNESCO member after Serbia and Russia strongly oppose

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

UNESCO countries vote against Kosovo becoming member on November 9 2015

Members of the United Nations' cultural agency UNESCO narrowly rejected Kosovo getting full membership in a vote on Monday, following Serbia and Russia fiercely opposing the vote and attempting to postpone it earlier in the day.

Out of the 142 countries, most of the votes were in favour for Kosovo’s membership, however, it failed to reach a two-thirds majority, falling short by three votes, as 92 backed the bid, 50 voted against it and 29 abstained.

"Kosovo's road is unstoppable and we will apply and join other organisations, including UNESCO once again," Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci wrote on his Facebook page.

Only 111 countries recognise Kosovo as a self-determined state, since the country declared independence from Serbia in 2008. As a close ally of Serbia, The Russian Federation, has blocked Kosovo from becoming a full UN member.

Serbia is concerned that Kosovo will not prevent attacks against its cultural heritage in Kosovo, but the country assures it will provide the necessary protection if it becomes a UNESCO member, despite disputes after the 1998-99 war, in which it came under UN and NATO administration.

Serbia had warned that letting Kosovo become a UNESCO member would raise tensions and damage an EU-brokered dialogue.

Kosovo is a member of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Olympic Committee and seeks to join other international organisations, but Serbia stresses that the country is not an eligible state to have the right to gain such memberships.

TRTWorld and agencies