USA to pull out of UNESCO

US drops out of Unesco over arrears, 'anti-Israel bias'

US pulls out of UN cultural organisation

The United States has chose to pull out of UNESCO, after repeated criticism of resolutions by the U.N. cultural agency that the Trump administration sees as anti-Israel.

The United States on Thursday announced that it is to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and accused the body of "anti-Israel bias". The organization is known for its World Heritage program that protects cultural sites across the globe. "The decision", Haley claimed, "is an affront to history and further discredits an already highly questionable United Nations agency".

The U.S. stopped funding UNESCO after the agency voted to include the Palestinian Authority as a member in 2011, but the State Department has maintained a UNESCO office at the agency's Paris headquarters and sought to weigh in on policy behind the scenes.

The organization has voted through several decision that have enraged Israel, particularly resolutions that appear to downplay or omit the importance of holy sites in Jerusalem and West Bank to Judaism.

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. During the meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the 2017 session of the UN General Assembly, Tillerson stated that the White House is debating whether to pull out of the agency.

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