The United States is pulling out of UNESCO as a reflection of its concerns over what the State Department called "continuing anti-Israel bias."
UNESCO, which is the United Nations cultural organization, has a "need for fundamental reform" and "mounting arrears," according to a statement from the State Department on Thursday, Oct. 12. "This decision was not taken lightly," the State Department noted.
The U.S. will seek to "establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO" as a contributing voice but not a member. That will allow the U.S. to offer "views, perspective and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organization, including the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms and promoting scientific collaboration and education."
The withdrawal goes into effect at the end of 2018. The U.S. will continue as a full member of UENSCO until that time.
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