U.S. to pull out of UNESCO

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria

United States has finally withdrawn from UNESCO citing issues relating to Palestinian Tensions. The move was announced by Heather Nauert, spokesperson of the state department.

The US is reported to be on the verge of withdrawing from UNESCO, after accusing the institution of anti-Israel bias, Foreign Policy reported today.

In response, UNESCO expressed regret over the decision.

U.S. has stopped funding the UNESCO over issues related to Palestine in 2011. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson additionally wants to save money with the withdrawal, avoiding the $500 million owed to the agency due to American funding cuts. At such a time, an announcement worth such magnitude can be very influencing.

The administration led by Trump in the U.S. has hinted towards making no changes in the proposed budget over the funding to UNESCO.

The lack of staffing and funding plans for UNESCO by the U.S. have been accompanied by repeated denunciations of UNESCO by senior U.S. officials, including U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

The U.S. pulled out of UNESCO in the 1980s because Washington viewed it as mismanaged and used for political reasons, then rejoined it in 2003.