United States reported to be 'withdrawing' from UNESCO

VN exits race for UNESCO chief position

VN exits race for UNESCO chief position

The United States on Thursday intimated its decision to withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency. The U.S. withdrawal goes into effect at the end of 2018. The U.S. was strongly against it and withdrew funding, but the State Department remained in the world body.

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.

If it does withdraw from UNESCO, the USA would remain as an observer state in meetings. The withdrawal was confirmed Thursday by USA officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to be publicly named discussing the decision. It comes as UNESCO is voting to choose a new director.

The move is likely to be seen as part of the Trump administration's skepticism about the United Nations more broadly.

Paris-based UNESCO, which began work in 1946, is known for designating World Heritage sites such as the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and the Grand Canyon National Park.

The withdrawal, which could be announced as early as next week, comes after many months of the U.S. condemning numerous rulings by the United Nations body which have favoured Palestinian claims to sites in the Israeli-occupied territories.

"The UNESCO vote on Hebron is tragic on several levels", Haley said at the time.

That was hardly UNESCO's only apparent anti-Israel behavior.

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