United States to Leave UN Body

Oct 13, 2017, 00:28
United States to Leave UN Body

The United States will remain a member, however, until the withdrawal takes effect on December 31, 2018.

Trump is not the first US President to withdraw support from UNESCO. "This is a courageous and moral decision because Unesco has become the theatre of the absurd and because instead of preserving history it distorts it".

Israel has always been at loggerheads with Unesco, particularly over its decision to admit the Palestinians as members in 2011.

The United States said Thursday that it was pulling out of the UN's culture and education body, accusing it of "anti-Israel bias" in a move that underlines Washington's drift away from global institutions.

And previous year, Israel suspended cooperation with it after the agency adopted a controversial resolution which made no reference to Jewish ties to a key holy site in Jerusalem.

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"UNESCO is about promoting our ideals and values through culture, education and science", France's United Nations ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters in NY, adding that "we need an America that stays committed to world affairs".

The withdrawals are a severe blow for the Paris-based organisation which began work in 1946 and is known for designating World Heritage sites such as the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and Sceilig Mhichíl in Co Kerry.

Ms. Bokova, in a telephone interview, said she "thought the decision was coming but why now, I don't know, in the midst of elections" for a new director to replace her.

Of all the United Nations bodies, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) might be the hardest to dislike.

Washington has already withheld its funding for UNESCO since 2011, when the body admitted Palestine as a full member.

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In October, Israel suspended its co-operation over a draft resolution referring to the Old City of Jerusalem as part of "the cultural heritage of Palestine".

He says he has ordered Israeli diplomats to prepare Israel's withdrawal from the organization in concert with the Americans.

The U.S. told Bokova it intends to stay engaged as a non-member "observer state" on "non-politicized" issues, including the protection of World Heritage sites, advocating for press freedoms and promoting scientific collaboration and education. This is a loss to the United Nations family.

UNESCO's executive board plans to select her successor Friday in a secret ballot.

"Today is a new day at the U.N., where there is price to pay for discrimination against Israel", Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon said. The Reagan administration withdrew from the organisation in 1984 - accusing the agency of corruption and an ideological bias towards the then Soviet Union - but the U.S. rejoined in 2002. The U.S. rejoined it in 2003.

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