US, Israel quit UNESCO

Sunday, 15 Oct, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu tweeted he had instructed his foreign ministry to "prepare Israel's withdrawal.in parallel with the United States".

Best known for designating World Heritage Sites, the UN's cultural agency is disappointed at the US' announcement. The Obama administration said it had to cut funds because a 1990s-era law prohibits US funding for any United Nations agencies recognizing Palestine as a state.

"One concern for the organization might be whether the U.S. move prompts a few others to leave or to be slow on their payments", Bosco worries.

Heather Nauert, US state department spokesperson, said on Thursday the US would establish an "observer mission" to replace its representation at the Paris-based agency.

There's obviously much, much more complex history to the Israel-Palestine conflict, which we don't have time to go into here.

But the USA and Israel still retain other privileges as member states, which they will lose should they leave the organization. "So that's part of it, financially, OK?" In 1984, Ronald Reagan pulled out of UNESCO, citing its pro-Soviet and anti-Western bias, and suspended payments, which covered one-fifth of the agency's budget. US law prohibits funding of any United Nations body which accepts Palestine as a full member. But critics charge that it often harms the places it claims to protect by encouraging unregulated tourism and has stretched itself too thin by admitting more than 1,000 heritage sites.

Political experts believe that the represents almost a quarter of UNESCO's may change their stance on the Palestine issue, as the United States, one of the world's superpowers, has joined hands with Israel for extending moral support. The organization's absurd and shameful resolutions against Israel have consequences. She added that the Statue of Liberty is among the many World Heritage sites protected by the organization.

Earlier today, the UNESCO appointed former French cultural minister Audrey Azoulay as its new Director General. Critics were quick to point out that trend, which is recasting the United States as an increasingly unreliable global partner. "Mounting arrears" was also cited by the state department as one other reason why the us withdrew from UNESCO. However the U.S. will still be liable to discharge the financial obligations it owes. It will be allowed to send representatives to UNESCO meetings but will not have voting rights. This triggered a USA law which cut off American funding for any organization that recognized an independent Palestine. Since that's basically what the USA is now, that has little impact beyond the US's formal title.

Gupta said that membership in UNESCO, "given its soft educational and cultural mandate", is considered to be a waste of money.

"The rise of violent extremism and terrorism calls for new long term responses for peace and security - to counter racism and anti-Semitism, to fight ignorance and discrimination", UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said. Implications for Education Worldwide had said that the withholding of USA dues would immediately affect UNESCO's ability to support countries in the often tremendous efforts they are making to provide universally accessible, relevant and transformative education.

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But the fundamental strain is over UNESCO's approach to Israel.

As US takes a further step back from UNESCO, it seems that the organisation will have readjust significantly to continue fulfilling its mandate.