UNESCO

UNESCO bid for Polynesia tattooing decried

The proposal was made by a left-wing member of the European Parliament, Younous Omarjee, who is from the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion.

The Patutiki Association, which promotes traditional tattooing of the Marquesas Islands, said it was impossible to amalgamate the tattooing practices of all Polynesian islands and cultures, which extend from Rapa Nui to Hawaii and New Zealand.

It said each island group had developed its own methods, designs and meaning.

New Caledonia joins UNESCO

The organisation's general assembly announced the French territory's admission in Paris in the presence of New Caledonia's caretaker president Philippe Germain.

The French overseas minister Annick Girardin said it allowed New Caledonia to deepen its work in the region, nine years after its marine areas became a world heritage site.

New Caledonia was made an associate member only because it is not in control of its foreign affairs.

As an associate member, New Caledonia has no voting rights.

In a year, the territory is due for an independence referendum.

Israel to join US in quitting Unesco

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the US decision as "brave and moral", a statement said.

The agency is known for designating world heritage sites such as Syria's Palmyra and the US Grand Canyon.

Unesco head Irina Bokova earlier called the US withdrawal a matter of "profound regret".

The US withdrawal will become effective at the end of December 2018 - until then, the US will remain a full member. The US will establish an observer mission at the Paris-based organisation to replace its representation, the state department said.

Israel suspends ties with UNESCO in spat over Jerusalem holy site

The draft decision notes the importance of Jerusalem to all three monotheistic religions -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam -- but makes no mention of why the city is significant to Christians or Jews. A subsidiary body of UNESCO's Executive Board passed the resolution Thursday in Paris.

It refers to Jerusalem's holiest site -- known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary -- only by its Muslim name.

Israel cuts ties with UNESCO over holy site

The draft decision notes the importance of Jerusalem to all three monotheistic religions -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam -- but makes no mention of why the city is significant to Christians or Jews. A subsidiary body of UNESCO's Executive Board passed the resolution Thursday in Paris.

It refers to Jerusalem's holiest site -- known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary -- only by its Muslim name.

Saudi airstrikes in Yemen's capital kill 29

The coalition's airstrikes hit an apartment building in the center of the capital, a UNESCO world heritage site, killing a family of nine, the officials who remain neutral in the conflict that has divided Yemen's security forces said.

One more civilian was killed and the search for more that may be buried under rubble is ongoing. The rebels, known as Houthis, lost 19 fighters in the overnight attack, the officials said.

UNESCO urges Pacific to protect its culture

The renewed call came at the end of a workshop on the Fight against Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Objects in Vanuatu last week.

The director of the UNESCO Office for the Pacific states, Etienne Clement, says the convention is important for protecting the unique culture of the region.

"Which has been joined in by 129 countries all over the world but unfortunately none in the Pacific. So the workshop is really to invite the Pacific to join that convention, which is a benefit for the Pacific."