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12 October 2017, 05:10 | Regina Holmes
US pulls out of UN cultural organisation
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced on December 31st that UN Education Science and Culture organization has officially reported leaving accession to UNESCO.
While the United States withdrew from the group, the Trump administration said it wanted to continue to be engaged with UNESCO to provide US perspective and expertise, but as a nonmember observer.
In 2011, the Obama administration cut $80 million a year from its UNESCO budget in response to the organization's inclusion of Palestine as a member. The department also cited "the need for fundamental reform" and "mounting arrears" at the organization.
The magazine said the decision was aimed at saving money and to protest what the U.S believes is UNESCO's anti-Israel stance. The US only rejoined under the administration of President George W. Bush some two decades later.The global heritage and conservation body is now in the midst of electing a new head, with Qatari candidate Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al- Kawari and French-Jewish candidate Audrey Azoulay now leading the field.
A plan to withdraw from the worldwide body was reportedly made several weeks ago, with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson informing French President Emmanuel Macron of America's imminent departure.
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