Home NEWS US withdraws from UNESCO, accusing the UN body of being anti-Israeli

US withdraws from UNESCO, accusing the UN body of being anti-Israeli

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The United States has announced it is to leave UNESCO, the UN’s culture, science and education body, on December 31.

The State Department said it had made the decision because of long-standing financial arrears, a lack of reforms, and the perception that the body way anti-Israeli.

During the George W. Bush presidency his ambassador to the global body, John Bolton, caustically remarked that its New York headquarters could usefully lose a third of its floor space without it being missed, and for some time the US has been putting pressure on the UN to reform and, in its opinion, be less welcoming to views that oppose US interests.

The United States has already left UNESCO once before, in 1984 when Ronald Reagan was president, claiming the organisation was “too politicised” and was working against US and western interests. It would only rejoin 19 years later. In 2011, Palestine became a member, which led to the US and Israel suspending all financial contributions, the former’s share making up 22% of the total budget.

UNESCO’s headquarters is in Paris, and it has a budget of 653 million dollars a year.

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