After the U.S., Israel Withdraws from UNESCO

UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay. Photo: UNESCO/C. ALIX
UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay. Photo: UNESCO/C. ALIX

The Israeli Government has officially notified the Israel’s withdrawal from UNESCO effective on 31 December 2018.

“I regret this deeply, as it is my conviction that it is inside UNESCO and not outside it that States can best seek to overcome differences in the organization’s fields of competence,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

Earlier in October, the U.S. had announced its decision to withdraw from the organization. According to a U.S. State Department statement, the decision reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.

[ Also Read: UN General Assembly Rejects Trump’s Jerusalem Decision ]

Israel has been a member of UNESCO since 16 September 1949 when it also established a National Commission for UNESCO.

Renowned Israeli personalities associated to UNESCO are: Ivry Gitlis as Goodwill Ambassador, sculptor Dani Karavan as Artist for Peace, and Professor Ada Yonath received the UNESCO-L’Oréal For Women in Science Prize in 2008, one year before she won a Nobel Prize.

Photo courtesy: UNESCO

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