USA pulls out of United Nations cultural body, citing 'anti-Israel' bias

USA pulls out of United Nations cultural body, citing 'anti-Israel' bias

Chris Hegadorn, the U.S. Charge d'Affaires and ranking U.S. representative to UNESCO, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the decision to pull out was linked to "the unfortunate politicization of the mandate of UNESCO, where anti-Israel bias has been a major factor and something the U.S. has been struggling to address".

It will establish an observer mission at the Paris-based organisation to replace its representation, the state department said.

The outgoing head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, called the United States withdrawal a "loss to multilateralism", while UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said through a spokesman that he "regrets this development deeply". "Together, we have worked to protect humanity's shared cultural heritage in the face of terrorist attacks and to prevent violent extremism through education and media literacy". The decision "reflects US concerns with mounting arrears" at the United Nations entity, as well as what she called "continuing anti-Israel bias".

Since 2011, United States arrears to the organization have reached about $600 million, Ms. Bokova said, but she had told members of Congress repeatedly that immediate payment was not an issue, only American political re-engagement in the organization, which she believes serves many American interests overseas.

"Universality is critical to UNESCO's mission to strengthen worldwide peace and security in the face of hatred and violence, to defend human rights and dignity", she wrote.




United States pulls out of the UN's culture and education body. Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Haley has repeatedly denounced these actions, and said the US was "evaluating" whether or not it should continue as a member of the organization.

Washington has also protested against UNESCO's decision to grant full membership to Palestine, deciding to suspend regular payments to the organization in 2011. The officials, who were not authorized to be publicly named discussing the issue, said the USA was notably angry over UNESCO resolutions denying Jewish connections to holy sites and references to Israel as an occupying power.

The text denounced "all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem".

The United Nation's education, cultural and scientific agency has passed several resolutions against Israel. "Ideally, it steers it in way that US interests and UNESCO's mandate will converge". The city, one of the world's oldest, sits in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

According to economist Jeffrey David Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the decision was made "because UNESCO promotes science, education, culture".

Related Articles

  • Tehran at Ease, United and Ready as Trump to Announce Iran Strategy

    Tehran at Ease, United and Ready as Trump to Announce Iran Strategy

    According to the spokesman, the USA shouldn't pressure Iran while negotiating regional issues. "It is time to teach them a new lesson".
    North Korean hackers suspected to have targeted USA  electric power companies

    North Korean hackers suspected to have targeted USA electric power companies

    Information on power plants and military facilities in the south also featured among the stolen data, the BBC reports . In 2013, when South Korea's banks and broadcasters were attacked, that government blamed its neighbor to the north.
    Nirmala Sitharaman teaches Chinese soldiers meaning of 'Namaste' at Nathu La

    Nirmala Sitharaman teaches Chinese soldiers meaning of 'Namaste' at Nathu La

    Sitharaman, India's first woman defence minister, visited the forward post to meet Indian troops on Oct.7. China appeared to welcome the Indian minister's gestures at the border.
  • Trump Has a New Nickname for His New Enemy

    Trump Has a New Nickname for His New Enemy

    According to a transcript of the call, Corker stated during the interview that he was "on the record" in the conversation. President Donald Trump's public feud with a top Republican on Capitol Hill has entered the name-calling phase.
    Rahul Gandhi more interested in visiting Italy than Amethi: Yogi Adityanath

    Rahul Gandhi more interested in visiting Italy than Amethi: Yogi Adityanath

    The BJP leader sought to know from Rahul that what he has done for his Lok Sabha constituency he has been representing since 2004. Irani suggested Rahul Gandhi to devote time to Amethi , his Lok Sabha constituency, instead of engaging in political activity.
    Medication shortages possible in mainland U.S.  because of Puerto Rican hurricane damage

    Medication shortages possible in mainland U.S. because of Puerto Rican hurricane damage

    New Jersey National Guardsmen who specialize in communications are in Puerto Rico working to correct that problem. New Jersey natives are still remaining hopeful that the situation in Puerto Rico will improve.
  • Overwatch Halloween skins revealed

    Overwatch Halloween skins revealed

    Starting today, October 10th and continuing until November 1st, Blizzard will be hosting a Halloween event in Overwatch . Collect all the poses, voice lines, emotes, sprays, and more, which are all up for grabs in the new loot boxes.
    Analysts Consensus For Booker Group (LON:BOK)

    Analysts Consensus For Booker Group (LON:BOK)

    Baird. 3,234,840 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 69% from the average session volume of 1,908,880 shares. Denver Investment Advisors Llc decreased Agilent Technologies Inc (A) stake by 3.22% reported in 2017Q2 SEC filing.
    Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Launched In India

    Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 Launched In India

    The company has already announced the second generation of the device globally at a launch event on 11 September, 2017. However, India will only receive the 6GB RAM/128GB variant, which has been priced at a competitive Rs 35 ,999.
  • National Football League  stars Watt, Beckham Jr suffer injuries

    National Football League stars Watt, Beckham Jr suffer injuries

    He sprained his left ankle in a preseason game on August 21, missed the season opener at Dallas and was limited against Detroit. Brandon Marshall sustained an ankle injury Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers , and he will undergo season-ending surgery.
    The Rams' potential game-winning touchdown went off Cooper Kupp's hands

    The Rams' potential game-winning touchdown went off Cooper Kupp's hands

    Austin's touchdown came 10 plays after Cody Davis intercepted a pass by Seattle receiver Tanner McEvoy at the Rams 36-yard line. There wasn't much room for them to run because the Rams' defensive line often was breaking into the backfield.
    Man Gives Reward To Kidnapping Victim

    Man Gives Reward To Kidnapping Victim

    Last week, about a month after the girl's escape, Wyffels called Melchert, commending him for his role in saving the teenager. We wanted to thank him. "I believe that if you hadn't been there that day that the outcome would've been totally different".