The letters in UNESCO stand for The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Thursday morning the United States State Department announced that the United States will be pulling out of UNESCO citing financial reasons, as well as what the State Department called anti-Israel bias.
The Washington Post (@wapo) reports that the State Department has said even though the United States are pulling out of the program, it will remain involved as a non-member observer state.
The United States helped found UNESCO, but had been at odds with the organization in recent years. The withdraw will take effect at the end of 2018. This move is one in another move by the Trump administration to distance itself from The United Nations.
UNESCO was founded after World War 2 to help promote global cooperation around the flow of ideas, culture, and information. UNESCO’s mission includes programs to improve access to education, preserve cultural heritage, improve gender equality, and promote scientific advances and freedom of expression.
To be fair, The United States have been having issues with UNESCO for years. The United States withdrew from UNESCO in 1984 for what President Reagan called pro-Soviet Union bias. It rejoined in 2002 under President George W. Bush. The United States stopped paying its dues in 2011 after UNESCO voted to include the Palestinian Authority as a member, citing a 1990’s -era law that prohibits funding for U.N. groups that recognize Palestinian territories.