The United States and Israel have officially withdraw themselves from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the New Year’s Day, the termination of a process started taking place more than a year ago.
UNESCO as co-founded by the US after World War II has taken this withdrawal generally practical yet serves a new shock to it.
New US government served its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit, accusing the UN agency of anti-Israel bias.
Previously the Paris-based organization has criticized Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, naming ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites, and granting full membership to Palestine in 2011.
The US has demanded “fundamental reform” in the agency. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is best known for its work to preserve heritage, including maintaining a list of World Heritage sites, and programs to promote education in developing countries.
The withdrawals will not greatly affect UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization financially, since it has been dealing with a funding slash ever since 2011 when both Israel and the US stopped paying dues after Palestine was voted in as a member state.
Since then officials estimate that the US – which accounted for around 22 % of the total budget – has accrued $600m in unpaid dues, which was one of the reasons for the decision of the President Donald Trump to withdraw from UNESCO.
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