At a Thursday news briefing, the United States announced it will be leaving the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). A spokeswoman for the State Department said the departure was due to what the Trump administration perceives as anti-Israel bias.
UNESCO works to improve education for girls, educate the world about the horrors of the Holocaust, and support the freedom of media. The organization is also known for its World Heritage program that offers protection to cultural sites and traditions.
This is not the first time the U.S. has pulled out of UNESCO. During Ronald Reagan's presidency, the U.S. left the agency, citing what it saw as mismanagement, corruption, and advancing Soviet interests. In 2003, under George W. Bush, the U.S. rejoined.
US announces withdrawal from UNESCO effective the end of next year. US helped found the UN cultural body. Trump says it has failed to reform— Anne Rumsey Gearan (@agearan) October 12, 2017
BREAKING: US withdraws from UNESCO, State Dept. official says.— Evan Rosenfeld (@Evan_Rosenfeld) October 12, 2017
UNESCO chief voices 'profound regret' over withdrawal