US leaves UNESCO, ac­cuses the body of ‘anti-Is­rael’ stance

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

The United States on Thurs­day an­nounced it will with­draw from the UNESCO, ac­cus­ing the UN’s cul­tural body of “anti-Is­rael” stance.

The with­drawal will take ef­fect on De­cem­ber 31, 2018. The US will re­main a full mem­ber of UNESCO un­til that time.

“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,” State Depart­ment Spokesper­son Heather Nauert said.

She said the Depart­ment of State to­day no­ti­fied United Na­tions Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­gan­i­sa­tion Di­rec­tor­Gen­eral Irina Bokova of the US de­ci­sion to with­draw from the or­gan­i­sa­tion and to seek to es­tab­lish a per­ma­nent ob­server mis­sion to UNESCO.

“The US in­di­cated to the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral its de­sire to re­main en­gaged with UNESCO as a non-mem­ber ob­server state in or­der to con­trib­ute US views, per­spec­tives and ex­per­tise on some of the im­por­tant is­sues un­der­taken by the or­gan­i­sa­tion, in­clud­ing the pro­tec­tion of world her­itage, ad­vo­cat­ing for press free­doms, and pro­mot­ing sci­en­tific col­lab­o­ra­tion and ed­u­ca­tion,” Nauert said.

Paris-based UNESCO, which be­gan work in 1946, is known for des­ig­nat­ing World Her­itage sites.


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