USA returned to UNESCO – MK

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The United States re-joined the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after a five-year absence. At the end of July, a flag-raising ceremony is scheduled to officially confirm the return of the United States.

According to UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay, the return of the United States to the organization is a complete fact, and they again become an official member of UNESCO. Azoulé sees this event as great news for the organization, believing that their initiatives will become even stronger and more significant around the world.

There are currently 194 countries in UNESCO, including the United States upon its return. Prior to this important event, a plan was developed and agreed upon between the US State Department and UNESCO, which included a schedule for repaying the US debt and returning to the agency’s executive board.

The history between the USA and UNESCO has its own peculiarities. In 2011, after Palestine became a full member of UNESCO, the administration of President Barack Obama stopped funding the organization, as it was prohibited by US law. In October 2017, the United States announced its withdrawal from UNESCO.

However, in February 2022, the Israeli government informed the US State Department that it would not prevent the return of the United States to UNESCO. This decision by Israel opened the door for some members of the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress to support the move.

Last December, Congress approved a bill to allocate more than $500 million to pay off the US debt to UNESCO and return the United States to full membership in the organization.

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