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What you need to know about the US withdrawal from UNESCO

© REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

What prompted the US to withdraw from membership of UNESCO and how it will affect their activities in the material TASS.

1
What happened?

“October 12, 2017, the Department of state notified the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova on the US decision to leave the organization and intention to establish a permanent observer mission at UNESCO,” said Thursday the head of the press service of the foreign Ministry USA Heather Nauert.

At the same time Washington expressed their desire to continue interacting with the organization as an “observer country” and participate in the implementation of UNESCO of a number of functions such as the protection of the world cultural heritage, the protection of press freedom and the promotion of scientific cooperation and the educational process.

The decision of withdrawal shall enter into force on 31 December 2018.

After the United States, UNESCO can leave Israel . Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave Thursday instructed the foreign Ministry to prepare a decision, said the evening of 12 October, the office of the Prime Minister of the Jewish state.

2
Why Washington decided to take this step?

For this the US, as explained Nauert, there are several reasons.

The first accumulated since 2011, the debt to the organization in excess of $500 million Six years ago, the United States, Israel, Canada and several countries have suspended the payment of membership dues upon acceptance into the ranks of UNESCO of Palestine.

In addition, Nauert explained the decision, “the need for fundamental reforms in the organization and the continuing anti-Israel bias in UNESCO”.

 

3
As the US decision will affect the work of the organization?

Given that funding from Washington did not arrive for six years, the U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO will not impact on the budget of the organization.

Furthermore, in history it was a period when the United States was not a member of this organization (in 1984, the United States left UNESCO because of the “Pro-Soviet” bias, returning only in 2002), which did not prevent her to pursue their activities.

4
What was the reaction to the decision of the United States?

“We deeply regret that the United States made the decision to leave UNESCO”, — said Director General of the organization Irina Bokova.

However, she noted that “despite the decision to suspend funding in 2011 between the United States and UNESCO were deep partnerships”.

Deep disappointment with the U.S. decision was expressed by the UN Secretary-General, antónio Guterres.

Advisor to the President of Russia on culture Vladimir Tolstoy called the incident “dumbfounded by the news”. “Well, we still need to analyze and evaluate the contribution of the United States. But it’s a bad sign, and he does not speak about US, not about UNESCO. It’s weird and not very clever,” said Colon.

5
What is UNESCO?

Full name of organization — the United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization.

It was founded in November 1945, and her main goal is “achieving through cooperation of peoples of the world in education, science and culture, international peace and welfare of mankind”.

In addition to activities in the field of conservation of cultural heritage (famous cultural heritage List prepared by it since 1978), UNESCO is involved in research of problems of sustainable development, conservation of biological diversity and water resources.

The organization also funds educational programmes in many countries of the world and deals with issues of gender equality.

 

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