The US state Department officially announced its withdrawal from UNESCO – the UN Agency for education, science and culture.
According to the official statement of the us state Department, which was presented on Thursday, October 12, 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.
The leadership of UNESCO expressed «deep regret» in connection with the withdrawal of 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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