On October 12, 2017, the Department of State notified UNESCO ( United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) of the U.S. decision to withdraw from the organization and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO.
Photo – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42713779
According to Heather Nauert, Spokesperson for the Department of State, “This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO”.
Pursuant to the UNESCO Constitution, U.S. withdrawal will take effect on December 31, 2018.
On 12 October, after receiving official notification by the United States Secretary of State to withdraw, UNESCO Director-General expressed profound regret at the decision. See the (video) response from Ms. Irina Bokova above.
UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations‘ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. It was formed after World War II in November, 1945 by the forty-four countries (including the United States) who decided to create an organization that would embody a genuine culture of peace. In their eyes, the new organization had to establish the “intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind” and, in so doing, prevent the outbreak of another world war.
Today UNESCO has UNESCO has 195 member states and ten associate members.