U.S. to withdraw from UNESCO over anti-Israel bias
by Evan Wilt
Posted 10/12/17, 11:00 am
WASHINGTON—The United States will withdraw from the United Nations’ cultural organization at the end of the year due to its long history of anti-Israel bias, the State Department announced Thursday. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), based in Paris, launched after World War II as a global development agency to promote peace through education. The United States withdrew from UNESCO in 1984 during the Reagan administration over the organization’s friendly relationship with the Soviet Union. President George W. Bush rejoined UNESCO in 2002. In 2011, President Barack Obama decided to stop funding UNESCO after the organization accepted Palestine as a member. “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,” State Department officials said, but added that the United States plans to remain a non-member, observer state to maintain influence on issues such as freedom of the press and protecting world heritage.
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.