The United States withdrew from UNESCO in 2018, during the former president’s administration, Donald Trump. This time, the United Nations’ scientific, educational, and cultural organization confirmed that the American country has now been readmitted into the agency this Friday, June 30.
The voting for the US’ rejoin into UNESCO counted overwhelming positive results. In total, the country received 132 votes in favor, 10 against, and 15 abstentions. Reportedly, North Korea, Russia, Palestine, and China, among others were some of the negative voters to the proposal.
In 2011, during the administration of President Barack Obama, The United States froze its contribution to the organization when Palestine was accepted as a member, which led to a 22% decline in its annual budget within the organization. In contrast, President Joe Biden, sent a letter to UNESCO’s General Director, Audrey Azoulay, asking to return to the agency. About the readmission, Azoulagy said:
“Unesco’s mandate—education, science, culture, freedom of information—is absolutely central to meeting the challenges of the 21st century. It is this centrality, as well as the easing of political tensions within the organization and the initiatives launched in recent years, that have led the United States to initiate this return.”
It is said that the rejoin of Biden in the Paris-based organization comes as an action to counter Chinese influence. The American nation is set to continue paying 619 million dollars in dues it has with the agency. In addition, it will contribute 22% of the budget of UNESCO to support initiatives in Africa, Holocaust remembrance, and journalist safety projects.
"It’s a great day for UNESCO and for multilateralism. Building upon the momentum achieved in recent years, our Organization is once again moving towards universalism with this return of the #UnitedStates" – @AAzoulayhttps://t.co/p7YWI5f5YL #UnescoGC pic.twitter.com/7kNVgIuuV1
— UNESCO 🏛️ #Education #Sciences #Culture 🇺🇳 (@UNESCO) June 30, 2023