The United States Department of State announced on Thursday (October 12th) the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). The withdrawal shall take effect from 31 December 2018, in accordance with the statutes of the organization.
” This decision was not taken lightly and reflects the United States’ concerns about the accumulation of arrears in Unesco, the need for in-depth reform of the organization and its anti-Israel bias persists, “said the US State Department. However, Washington said the United States will retain observer status. The withdrawal will not be effective until 31 December 2018.
The United States blames Unesco for being “anti-Israeli” .
Since July, Washington had warned of its intention to reconsider its ties with Unesco, after its decision to declare the Old City of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, a “World Heritage Protected Area”. US ambassador to the UN, Nikita Haley, said that this decision, which was described as an “affront to history”, “discredits even more a highly debatable UN agency” .
The distances between the United Nations and the United States had already been observed. Unesco’s financing by the United States had ceased since 2011 after the agency admitted Palestine among its member states. But since then, the United States has continued to sit on the executive board of the organization, which has 58 members.
Irina Bokova, the Director-General of Unesco, said in a statement. She deeply regrets the American decision but remains convinced that her missions will respond to the concerns of the American people.
” Universality is essential to Unesco’s home to build international peace and international security in the face of non-violence. By the defense of right of the man, “she adds.