Director General of the Agency of the United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, made a comment in connection with the announcement of the U.S. Department of state on exit of this country from UNESCO. In the application Side is not mentioned Israel and not commented on the order of Benjamin Netanyahu on the preparations for the release of the Jewish state from the part of UNESCO.
Bokova recalled that in 2011, the United States suspended payment of membership fees to UNESCO, but, according to her, the cooperation continued and developed, despite the reduction in funding. Such cooperation, she said, «especially relevant today, when the rise of violent extremism and terrorism requires a new long-term measures to achieve security and peace, anti-racism and anti-Semitism, the fight against ignorance and discrimination».
In a statement, Irina Bokova, has been listed themes that unite UNESCO and the United States: literacy and the development of the education system, promoting use of new technologies, expansion of scientific cooperation, the protection of freedom of speech, women’s rights, the fight against natural disasters and armed conflicts, environmental protection, etc.
«It’s a loss for UNESCO. This is a loss for the family of Nations. It is a loss for multilateralism,» said she, having finished his speech by saying that the Agency will continue its work, despite the US withdrawal from the organization.
The fact that in her speech, Bokova did not mention Israel, is quite understandable: she was responding to an official letter to the US state Department, not the Prime Minister of Israel, which was not designed as an official document and was not sent to the leadership of UNESCO. However, it is noteworthy that Bokova says the financial conflict with Washington, not to mention the second reason given in the statement of the US state Department – about the anti-Israel resolutions and biased against Israel.
While on the joint fight against manifestations of anti-Semitism in different countries of the world Bokova in her speech about the U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO of the composition mentioned twice.
12 October 2017 the US state Department officially announced its withdrawal from UNESCO. According to the official statement of the us state Department, which was handed to the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova, the decision was taken due to «the growing debt of UNESCO, the need to carry out in the organization of fundamental reforms and bias against Israel.»
Earlier, the us publication Foreign Policy, wrote that this decision is due to including the pursuit of financial savings. Currently the U.S. annually transfer to the Fund of UNESCO’s $ 80 million. The US President Donald trump has repeatedly expressed displeasure «disproportionate» share of U.S. involvement in the financing of international institutions.
The decision will come into force on 31 December 2018. After that, the U.S. expects to continue cooperation with UNESCO as permanent observer.
Shortly after the announcement of the us state Department, the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli Ministry of foreign Affairs to prepare for the process of withdrawal from the organization at the same time with the United States.
7 July 2017 UNESCO declared the Old city of Hebron (al-Khalil) and the Cave of the Patriarchs (Haram al-Ibrahimi) of the Palestinian cultural heritage site of worldwide importance. Informed the world heritage Committee of UNESCO voted in favour of resolution denying Israeli sovereignty over the Old city of Jerusalem and condemning the excavations in the historic part of the Israeli capital. In response to these decisions Israel has sharply reduced its participation in the financing of UNESCO.
The question of the US withdrawal from UNESCO, raised by the Secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was discussed a few weeks ago on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, held in new York. In particular, this issue was raised at the meeting of U.S. President Donald trump with the President of France Emmanuel Macron.
The announcement of this decision was postponed until the election of a new Director-General of UNESCO, taking place this week. The main candidates are considered to be Audrey Azoulay (France) and Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari (Qatar). Paris has asked Washington to support their candidate and hoped that the U.S. will not come from the UNESCO during the crisis.
We will remind, the USA is one of the founding members of UNESCO. In 1984, at the height of the cold war, U.S. President Ronald Reagan initiated his country’s exit from UNESCO, considering the organization’s ideological ally of the USSR. In 2002, when the President was George W. Bush, the US rejoined UNESCO.
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