US Rejoins UNESCO in Reversal of Trump Withdrawal – Unesco has confirmed that the United States, after its withdrawal under former President Donald Trump, has now rejoined the organization. The decision to rejoin comes after Mr. Trump announced in 2017 that the US would be leaving Unesco, citing bias against Israel. This withdrawal became effective in 2018.
During an extraordinary session of the UN body’s General Assembly, there was a significant majority in favor of the US returning to Unesco, with approximately 132 members voting in favor, 10 against, and 15 abstaining. Among the dissenting parties were Iran, Syria, China, and Russia, whose delegations seemed to aim at postponing the vote by making various statements on procedure and proposing amendments.
The United States, an original member of Unesco, significantly contributed to its budget until 2011. However, their financial support declined after Unesco granted membership to Palestine. As a result, this action triggered a cessation of contributions according to US law, eventually culminating in the official announcement of withdrawal six years later.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, expressed gratitude to member nations for their affirmative votes in favor of the US rejoining Unesco. “If we are not engaged in international institutions, we leave a void and we lose an opportunity to advance American values and interests on the global stage,” she said in a statement. “Wherever and whenever new rules are being debated, Americans need to be at the table.”