The United States has decided to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The announcement was made by the Department of State today. Among the reasons given for the departure from UNESCO are concerns the government has with the group. It also says that there is a need for fundamental reform in the organization.
Another of the major concerns that the U.S. government has with UNESCO are connected to Israel. The statement that was sent out today claims that the government isn’t happy with the “continuing anti-Israel bias,” at the organization.
While the U.S. is looking to leave UNESCO as a member, it still wants to keep and eye on the event.
“The United States indicated to the Director General its desire to remain engaged with UNESCO as a non-member observer state in order to contribute U.S. views, perspectives and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organization, including the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms, and promoting scientific collaboration and education.”
The U.S decision to withdraw from UNESCO won’t be going into effect immediately. Instead, it will be leaving the group on Dec. 31, 2017 in compliance with Article II(6) of the UNESCO Constitution.
Irina Bokova, the leader of UNESCO, says that the U.S.’s decision to leave is regretful, but that “politicisation” has “taken its toll” on the group. Israel says that it will also be joining the U.S. in leaving the organization. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told the country’s foreign ministry to start the process, reports BBC News.
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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