US withdraws from UNESCO citing its ‘anti-Israel’ bias

WASHINGTON: The US today announced it will withdraw from the UNESCO, accusing the UN cultural body of “anti-Israel” bias and cited the need for “fundamental reform” in the organisation.

The withdrawal will take effect on December 31, 2018. The US will remain a full member of the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation until then.

“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti- Israel bias at UNESCO,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

She said the Department of State today notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the US decision to withdraw from the organisation and to seek to establish a “permanent observer” mission to UNESCO. (AGENCIES)