According to the State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, Washington would establish an “observer mission” to replace its representation at the Paris-based agency.
Nauert said the State Department had notified UNESCO’s outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova of their decision earlier Thursday.
“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO.
“The United States indicated to the director-general its desire to remain engaged with UNESCO as a non-member observer state in order to contribute US views, perspectives and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organization, including the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms and promoting scientific collaboration and education,” she said in a statement.
Similarly, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, also said his country will withdraw from UNESCO after United States decision to do the same.
“The prime minister instructed the foreign ministry to prepare Israel’s withdrawal from the organisation alongside the United States,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.
Netanyahu “welcomes the decision by President (Donald) Trump to withdraw from UNESCO. This is a courageous and moral decision because UNESCO has become the theatre of the absurd and because instead of preserving history it distorts it.”
Meanwhile, the head of UNESCO Irina Bokova has regret a decision by the United States to withdraw from the UN culture and education body which she called a “loss to multilateralism”.
“I wish to express profound regret at the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from UNESCO,” Bokova said in a statement.