The U.S. Withdraws from the UNESCO

The United States has accused The United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of anti-Israel bias and announced its withdrawal from this UN body.

This is going to be the second U.S. withdrawal from major international bodies and agreements within a few months.

The U.S. President Trump declared to withdraw from the Paris agreement accusing that the U.S. is burdened with more money than other countries.

Now On October 12, 2017, the Department of State notified UNESCO announced the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organization.

“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.”

The U.S. seeks to establish “a permanent observer mission to UNESCO” instead.

The U.S. State Department statement said, “This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.”

As a non-member observer state from now on, the U.S. wants to contribute “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.”

UNESCO’s outgoing director-general Irina Bokova “deeply regrets” the U.S. decision but she said, “UNESCO has never been so important for the U.S., or the U.S. for UNESCO.”

“As if Israel is dictating US policy not only in the Middle East but also in international organizations. That’s going to have a very harmful effect on the idea the US being a mediator between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”-Mustafa Barghouti, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative 

Mustafa Barghouti, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative told the Doha-based Al Jazeera, “The decision demonstrates the US administration’s complete and total bias towards Israel.”

He accused the U.S. move as “counterproductive and shameful.”

“Sooner or later they will see Palestine in every UN agency. Will the US respond to that by withdrawing from the WHO or the World Intellectual Property Organization? They will be hurting only themselves.”

Barghouti said it is “As if Israel is dictating US policy not only in the Middle East but also in international organizations. That’s going to have a very harmful effect on the idea the US being a mediator between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”


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