The U.S. Formally Withdraws From Unesco, the U.N. Agency That Aims to Build Peace Through… – ArtfixDaily
This month, the United States officially left Unesco, the United Nations’ cultural and scientific organization. The U.S. was a founding member of Unesco, which was established following the horrors of the World War II era.
While the U.S. withdrawal is newly in effect, the Trump administration announced the decision in 2017. The U.S. and Israel stopped paying dues to the organization after Unesco granted full membership to Palestine in 2011. Citing ongoing anti-Israel bias for its departure, the U.S. was over $600 million in arrears when it left. (The U.S. also withdrew for a period beginning in the 1980s, under the Reagan administration, over purported pro-Soviet bias and corruption claims.)
A new director general, Audrey Azouley, has just taken over the top post at Paris-based Unesco. She says the agency has recently made strides to combat anti-Semitism, also telling the New York Times, “I have tried hard to reduce the politicization and work for consenus.”
Unesco, which stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, was formed to promote peace through international cooperation in endeavors of education, science and culture. Among its varied missions, Unesco has helped preserve over 1,000 World Heritage Sites in 167 countries, spearheaded cultural projects like the reconstruction of the mausoleums in Timbuktu after their destruction by extremists and launched a series of histories written by locals that tell the world’s stories.