United States pulls out of UN cultural organisation

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 12, 2017

"This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO", the State Department said in a Thursday statement cited by Reuters.

"This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO", the department said, adding that the United States would seek to "remain engaged.as a non-member observer state in order to contribute USA views, perspectives and expertise".

It is not the first time the USA has withdrawn. The move is to take effect on December 31, Washington announced.

U.S. has stopped funding the UNESCO over issues related to Palestine in 2011.

The agency is known for designating world heritage sites such as Syria's Palmyra and the US Grand Canyon. The agency also works to improve education for girls in desperately poor countries and in scientific fields, to promote better understanding of the horrors of the Holocaust and to defend media freedom, among other activities.

Earlier, Washington officials told AP that the United States is withdrawing from UNESCO after repeated criticism of resolutions that the Trump administration perceived as anti-Israeli.

In addition, the Trump administration's proposed budget for the next fiscal year contains no provision for the possibility that UNESCO funding restrictions might be lifted.

According to the American Foreign Policy news site, the White House is planning to pull out of UNESCO in an attempt to save money and due to the United Nations body's anti-Israel bias. Though US states that the dispute over funding is a major reason behind it pulling out, the stance of US on Palestine can not be ignored.

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