The US is about to return to UNESCO after 4 years of withdrawal?

The US is about to return to UNESCO after 4 years of withdrawal?  - Photo 1.

UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (France) – Photo: UN

In a statement on October 22, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) called the US intention to return as “good news” but said it was still unclear when and how. for this problem.

Like the United Nations in general, the United States contributes a lot to UNESCO’s operating costs, accounting for about one-fifth of the total annual funding.

The US administration began to stop contributing in 2011 under President Barack Obama, after Palestine became a full member of UNESCO. In 2017, President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from UNESCO because of his prejudice against Israel and completed the process in 2019.

According to Reuters news agency, the reason for the above moves is due to a legal requirement that the US withdraw from UNESCO if Palestine becomes a full member of the UN agencies.

However, a bill was submitted Senate Appropriations Committee This week announced it would lift the bans, allowing the US to re-contribute to UNESCO.

Condition is President Joe Biden and the US Congress believe that returning to UNESCO will allow Washington to counter Chinese influence or advance other interests.

Israel withdrew from UNESCO at the same time as the US and according to a Western diplomatic source, it is very keen to return but is waiting for moves from the US. Israel’s Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the report, according to Reuters.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay visited the US last month and lobbied President Biden’s wife and several senators about bringing the US back into the agency. First lady Jill Biden has participated in UNESCO teaching programs before, a diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

To become law, a bill that would allow the US to re-fund UNESCO needs to be passed in the US Senate and House of Representatives. There is no indication yet that such votes will take place.

By the time the US left UNESCO, the country is said to have “debted” the obligation to contribute to the organization about 542 million USD. Washington also lost its right to vote at UNESCO in 2013 because it owed donations.

UNESCO is an organization of the United Nations, established on November 16, 1945, with its headquarters in Paris (France) and 53 regional offices worldwide.

Its mission is to promote cooperation in education, science and culture to ensure lasting peace and sustainable development and mutual understanding among countries.

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