U.S. to rejoin UNESCO after years of absence

The logo of the UNESCO on the main building in Paris, France.

The United Nation’s cultural and scientific agency UNESCO on Monday said the United States will pay more than $600 million in back dues and rejoin the organization in July.

U.S. Undersecretary of State for Management John Bass in March said America should rejoin the organization to counter China’s growing influence in UN agencies.

The Obama administration in 2011 stopped funding the agency when it voted to include Palestine as a member. The Trump administration cited anti-Israel bias within the agency when the United States and Israel withdrew in 2018. Israel last year said it wouldn’t oppose an American return to UNESCO.

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What does UNESCO do? The agency creates policies and programs intended to promote education, science and culture. It’s also known for designating World Heritage sites. The organization has recently been involved in developing international standards for artificial intelligence.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2023, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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