The Trump administration has announced that it will be pulling the U.S. out of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) due to the organization’s alleged anti-Israel bias and other issues.
USA Today reports that the U.S. will pull out of UNESCO effective next year. According to an official statement released by the State Department: "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.”
Although this may appear like a major change in world politics, as USA Today notes, it is actually mostly symbolic since the U.S. has not actually funded UNESCO since 2011, after the organization voted to include Palestine.
The history of the U.S.’s involvement with UNESCO has been somewhat tenuous for several decades now. President Reagan withdrew the U.S. from the organization in 1984, but then President George W. Bush brought the U.S. back into the organization in 2002. Funding to UNESCO from the U.S. was cut off under the Obama administration.
A statement from Irina Bokova, the director general of UNESCO said: “At the time when conflicts continue to tear apart societies across the world, it is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack.”
Photo: In this handout photo provided by the Israel Government Press Office (GPO), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with US President Donald Trump prior to the President's departure from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on May 23, 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel. Trump arrived for a 28-hour visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority areas on his first foreign trip since taking office in January.
Photo courtesy: Kobi Gideon/Getty Images
Publication date: October 12, 2017