Belgrade – Kosovo on Monday failed to secure enough support to join UN culture agency UNESCO, in a victory for Serbia.
A former province of Serbia which split in 2008, Kosovo needed a two-third majority support of 95 votes in the UNESCO general conference, but had only 92, with 50 against and 29 abstaining.
“The majority of world’s countries voted for Kosovo but unfortunately, we were three votes short of the required majority,” Kosovo Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci said.
Thaci said that Kosovo cannot be stopped on its way and we would apply for membership in organisations, including again for UNESCO.
Serbia, which insists on sovereignty over Kosovo despite agreeing to normalise ties in an EU-brokered process, has campaigned globally to rally opposition to the UNESCO bid.
In Belgrade, President Tomislav Nikolic declared a victory in the vote on Kosovo’s membership in UNESCO.
The United States and major Western powers backed Kosovo, while Russia and China voted against it.
The scene of a war against Serbia’s rule in 1999, Kosovo has been recognized by 111 of the 193 UN member states.
Serbia insisted that its induction into UNESCO would have been a step towards UN membership and full-fledged statehood. (dpa/NAN)