The US under President Trump is withdrawing from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing “mounting arrears,” the “need for fundamental reform,” and “anti-Israel bias.”
The announcement was issued Thursday by a spokesperson for the State Department.
The U.S. has just left UNESCO. pic.twitter.com/zboKpLhlXT
— Simon Kent (@sunsimonkent) October 12, 2017
The US has notified UNESCO head Irina Bokova of its withdrawal, which will go into effect after December 31, per the UNESCO Constitution.
Although the decision has sparked controversy from the political left, this is neither the first time the US has pulled out of UNESCO nor the first time it has taken action against the organization for its stance on Israel.
Former President Ronald Reagan pulled the US out of UNESCO in 1984, as reported by the Washington Examiner. It was George W. Bush who rejoined in 2002.
After UNESCO admitted Israel-rival Palestine in 2011, the Obama administration cut funding to the UN agency.
Although the US will no longer be a member, the Trump administration says it will “remain engaged” as a “non-member observer.”
According to its website, UNESCO “UNESCO works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values.” It does so by funding publications and giving money to causes that align with its principles of “peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue.”
Liberals on social media are livid about the announcement, although most had no idea what UNESCO was until they googled it upon hearing the US was withdrawing.
With every passing day USA is becoming irrelevant. #UNESCO
— Sheharyar Khan (@iSheharyar) October 12, 2017
Layman 2 Trump have you heard of UNESCO ?
Trump: UNESCO? I dont like d acronym, US shld not be part of it
Anti Israel Bias is js an excuse
— Why_So_Serious_? (@HODL_till_2140) October 12, 2017
Why would we be surprised? UNESCO stands for education, science and culture – things completely unknown for Trump and his asswipes.
— Brandon Horan (@brandon_r_horan) October 12, 2017
Trump just pulled the United States out of UNESCO. Is Trump decided to destroy one by one everything that makes US great? #IncompetentTrump
— #RemoveTrump (@Blue______Wave) October 12, 2017
“We’re fine with sex trafficking and human trafficking but anti-Israel bias is too far” – US State Dept on UNESCO. pic.twitter.com/pl792GTOoe
— ͏b͏e͏c͏k͏y (@ssendnukeslmao) October 12, 2017
— Space Robinson (@RobinsonSpace) October 12, 2017