US withdraws from UNESCO

United States says it plans to withdraw from the United Nations cultural and educational agency UNESCO. US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert made the announcement in a statement on Thursday.

She said the decision reflects US concerns over mounting arrears at UNESCO, a need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias there.

The statement said the decision will take effect on December 31st, 2018. It added that the United States will seek to remain engaged as a non-member observer state in order to contribute US views, perspectives, and expertise.

The United States withdrew from UNESCO once before in 1984, saying the organization failed at politically fair management, but rejoined in 2003.

The country stopped funding UNESCO after it voted to include Palestine as a member in 2011.

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