U.S. UNESCO Breakaway

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U.S. UNESCO Breakaway

By Angela Reyzelman, Sophomore Editor

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UNESCO stands for The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The role of this organization is to add to peace and security worldwide by promoting collaboration among different nations and further universal respect. As of Thursday, October 12, 2017, the United States claimed to be withdrawing from this institution at the end of the next year. The reason for this departure is in order to stop accumulating unpaid dues and to make a stand on what it said is anti-Israel bias at the UNESCO.

By the end of the 2017 calendar year, the amount of money the U.S. owes to this organization will have reached $550 million U.S. dollars. At the end of the 2018 calendar year, this debt is predicted to reach $600 million U.S. dollars, at which point Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has made the executive decision to withdraw from the organization altogether.

However, by departing, the United States is not conceding all of its power, only the right to vote within the organization. The State Department said that it would like to remain as a non member observer state. What this will do is allow the U.S. to participate in debates and activities, but not vote. Another impact this decision will have is that it will stop any immediate plans it has run up, including the protest of UNESCO’s admission of Palestine as a full member.

The purpose of this withdrawal is to promote fundamental reform within the U.S. before we can continue to pour funds into this organization. Sophomore student at Wayne Hills High School, Kaleigh Conroy, commented on the United States’ situation in UNESCO by saying, “I believe we made a good decision and it will pay off in the end.” Hopefully, Conroy’s prediction will come true.

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