USA to withdraw from UNESCO

Prize winner in Pakistan

The US is pulling out of the UN's cultural organization UNESCO, accusing it of "anti-Israel" bias.

This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO. She traced the decades-long USA ties with UNESCO, and noted that the Statue of Liberty is among the many World Heritage sites protected by the United Nations agency.

United States has finally withdrawn from UNESCO citing issues relating to Palestinian Tensions. She said the USA and UNESCO matter to each other more than ever now because "the rise of violent extremism and terrorism calls for new long-term responses for peace and security".

It is not the first time the USA has withdrawn.

The US had stopped funding UNESCO after it voted to include Palestine as a member in 2011 but it did maintain a UNESCO office.

The Foreign Policy report stated that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the decision about withdrawing from the United Nations body a few weeks ago.

The magazine said the decision was aimed at saving money and to protest what the U.S believes is UNESCO's anti-Israel stance.

The state department said it would establish an observer mission at the Paris-based organization to replace its representation. The move was announced by Heather Nauert, spokesperson of the state department. UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation is going to vote this week to choose a new director.

The Trump administration has been preparing for a likely withdrawal for months, and a decision was expected before the end of the year, according to USA officials.

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