US to withdraw from Unesco

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A picture taken on October 12, 2017 shows the flags flying in front of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris. AFP

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is withdrawing from Unesco, the United Nation’s cultural and educational agency, effective December 31, the US State Department said in a statement yesterday. “This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at Unesco, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at Unesco,” the department said, adding the US would seek to “remain engaged …as a non-member observer state in order to contribute US views, perspectives and expertise”. Unesco expressed regret over the decision. Director general Irina Bokova said the decision marked a loss for multilateralism and for the UN family.

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