United States withdraws from UNESCO

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington Wednesday

The withdrawal represented a loss to the "UN family" and to multilateralism, Ms Bokova said.

Chris Hegadorn, the U.S. Charge d'Affaires and ranking U.S. representative to UNESCO, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the decision to pull out was linked to "the unfortunate politicization of the mandate of UNESCO, where anti-Israel bias has been a major factor and something the U.S. has been struggling to address".

And senior Trump administration officials - including U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley - have been critical of the organization.

That has clearly failed, as evidenced by its continued push to remove all Jewish references to religious sites in the Holy Lands. In the USA, listed sites include the Statue of Liberty and Independence Hall, as well as national parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite.

The AP quotes a State Department source. After he was elected but before he became president, Mr. Trump made an extraordinary intervention on the world stage by criticizing the Obama administration's decision not to block a United Nations resolution criticizing Israeli settlements.

The United States will remain a member, however, until the withdrawal takes effect on December 31, 2018.

The Tomb of the Patriarchs, along with the Hebron's Old City, were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in July, despite opposition from the United States and Israel.

The head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has already expressed regret over Washington's step.

An Arab-backed UNESCO resolution a year ago condemned Israeli's policies at religious sites in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Corker On Trump Lying: 'Everyone Knows He Does It'
I said "NO" and he dropped out (said he could not win without.my endorsement). "I understand we're on the record". Bob Corker of having worked with Democrats and the Obama administration to make the Iran nuclear deal happen.

But President Donald Trump's administration is also reviewing many of its multilateral commitments, pursuing what he calls an "America First" policy that has allies in Europe anxious.

AIPAC gives thumbs up to Trump's withdraw from UNESCO.

The US was a founding member of UNESCO.

"The absence of the United States or any large country with a lot of power is a loss". Worldwide, UNESCO also promotes education, gender equity initiatives, access to culture and science, and the pursuit of liberal democratic ideals like freedom of expression. It will become a mere "observer state", with no dues paid and no contribution to how the organization is run.

"In recent years, they've been of no use for this organisation", Eleanora Mitrofanova said.

UNESCO is in the process of selecting a new chief, whose priority will be to revive its fortunes.

The third round saw the breakthrough of French candidate Audrey Azouley, who secured 18 out of 58 votes of the UNESCO Executive Board, sharing top spot with Qatari candidate Hammad bin Al-Kawari.

The election has exposed deep rivalries between Qatar and Egypt that has its roots in the crisis engulfing Qatar and its Gulf Arab neighbours which have severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Doha after accusing it of sponsoring hardline Islamist groups, a charge Qatar denies.

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