Photo: JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images
The United States has announced its intention to rejoin UNESCO in Julyan organization from which it left in 2017 during the term of the previous president, Donald Trump, who accused it in particular of repeatedly adopting anti-Israeli positions.
In a statement, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) explained that the United States has informed it of its decision to rejoin with a specific financing plan, which will be submitted to the Member States. in an extraordinary session soon.
The CEO, Audrey Azoulay, who summoned the representatives of the 193 member countries to communicate Washington’s requestcongratulated himself on what he described as “a strong act of confidence in Unesco and in multilateralism.”
For Azoulay, it supposes not only the endorsement of what is the core of Unesco’s mandate, “culture, education, science, information”, but also the way in which it is being carried out. That is, a recognition of his own leadership at the forefront.
In this regard, Unesco emphasized that since the former French minister took office in November 2017, she has mediated to “calm political tensions and achieve consensus on the most sensitive issues such as the Middle East“.
In addition, he pointed out that with the new initiatives that have been taken, Unesco addresses “fully contemporary challenges” such as ethical issues surrounding the use of artificial intelligence or the protection of the oceans.
This without forgetting “new emblematic campaigns” such as the reconstruction of the ancient city of Mosul, in Iraq (after having reconquered it from the forces of the Islamic State), with which Unesco has resumed “its historical ambitions”.
And neither are “the administrative reforms” that since 2018 have made the organization “more efficient and more financially sound”.
In summary, a list of all the changes that Azoulay has implemented and that, according to his interpretation, have led the United States to take a turn in its policy towards the organization.
The US Congress agreed in December to authorize again the financial contribution to Unesco that should lead to its reinstatement once the member countries give their approval at an extraordinary general conference to be convened in the coming days.
The plan of the US Congress provides for the payment of an annual contribution, as well as the staggered payment of the delays of what was the first country for the contribution to the budget of the organization with 22% of the total.
In 2011, the Administration of President Barack Obama had already frozen that financial contribution.in application of a legislation of the Congress, in response to the acceptance of Palestine as a member of Unesco, and this without the previous condition that a negotiated settlement of the conflict with Israel had been achieved.
But it was Trump who formalized the divorce six years later because he reproached him for discussions of the Middle East conflict and repeated pronouncements condemning Israel, and because he had a general dislike of international organizations.
The return of the United States, in a climate within UNESCO less polarized in the conflict in the Middle East, also opens the doors to a return of Israel.
The United States already left UNESCO in 1985, during the Ronald Reagan presidency, and returned in 2003.
With information from Efe.
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