U.S. News


The US Is Leaving UNESCO — Again

The State Department notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the decision Thursday.
Posted at 12:40 PM, Oct 12, 2017

The U.S. is pulling out of UNESCO.

The State Department notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the decision Thursday.

UNESCO is a specialized agency in the United Nations that encourages international peace and security through education, science, culture and communication. It's best known for its World Heritage list.

The State Department says its decision came down to debts and the need for reform in the agency. The department also voiced concerns about an anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.

Bokova released a statement in light of the news. She emphasized the importance of unity when combating the rise of terrorism and conflict.

She said the U.S. pulling out is a loss for the U.N. and for international alliances.

The U.S. joined UNESCO at its creation in 1945. But, in 1984, then-President Ronald Reagan withdrew the country from the organization, citing corruption. The U.S. rejoined in 2003 under then-President George W. Bush.

The latest withdrawal takes effect Dec. 31, 2018.