The United States has withdrawn from UNESCO over what it claims in the organisation’s ‘continuation anti-Isreal bias’.
The US State Department recently announced its intention to withdraw from the UN’s cultural, scientific and educational organisation and become a permanent observer instead.
The State Department said in a statement that, “this decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti-Israel bias at Unesco.”
The country hopes to remain a non-member, observer state, in order to contribute US opinions and expertise on issues like press freedoms and protecting world heritage, according to the Department. The decision will take effect at the end of 2018.
Rex Tilerson, US Secretary of State, made the decision to pull out several weeks ago, and announced it to French President Emmanuel Macron in a meeting with Donald Trump late last month, according to Foreign Policy.
The current Director General, Irina Bokova, expressed her “profound regret” at the US’s decision.
“Universality is critical to UNESCO’s mission to strengthen international peace and security in the face of hatred and violence, to defend human rights and dignity,” she said in a statement.