American officials have confirmed that the United States will be pulling out of a key UN cultural agency after multiple complaints that the organization’s resolutions contained an ‘anti-Israel’ bias, reports Fox News.
The United States officially stopped funding the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, commonly referred to as UNESCO, back in 2011 after the group admitted Palestine as a full-voting member state, but retained a permanent office at the agency’s Paris headquarters.
On Thursday, American officials confirmed the US would be withdrawing from the organization entirely, citing entrenched, anti-Israel bias throughout the cultural agency; where Arab and Muslim nations have far greater numbers than Israel, the United States, and other allies.
“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,” read a statement from the State Department, adding the US will, “remain engaged […] as a non-member observer state in order to contribute US views, perspectives and expertise.”
UNESCO is the organization behind the ‘World Heritage Program,’ the agency aimed at protecting and preserving culturally and historically significant sites throughout the world; including the Grand Canyon in the United States and Machu Picchu in Peru.