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US decides to rejoin UNESCO


  1. UN cultural and scientific agency UNESCO announced that the United States plans to rejoin — and pay more than $600 million in back dues.

US decides to rejoin UNESCO

  1. The United States has announced its plans to rejoin the UNESCO, after a decade-long dispute sparked by the inclusion of Palestine as a member.
  2. The return of the U.S., along with the payment of over $600 million in back dues, is a significant financial boost for UNESCO’s initiatives.
  3. Before leaving, the US contributed 22 per cent of the agency’s overall funding.

Reasons for leaving

  1. One of the main reasons was concerns over the organization’s perceived anti-Israel bias.
  2. The U.S. government criticized UNESCO for its handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its recognition of Palestine as a member state.
  3. Another factor was financial concerns.
  4. United States had been contributing a significant portion of UNESCO’s budget.
  5. U.S. government had concerns about fiscal management and accountability within UNESCO.
  6. Furthermore, the decision to withdraw was also influenced by a broader scepticism towards multilateral institutions and a desire to reassess and prioritize U.S. engagement and funding in international organizations.

Why did US decided to rejoin the organisation?

  1. The decision to return was motivated by concern that China is filling the gap left by the US in UNESCO policymaking, notably in setting standards for artificial intelligence and technology education around the world.


  1. UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
  2. It is specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).
  3. The constitution, which entered into force in 1946, called for the promotion of international collaboration in education, science, and culture.
  4. The agency’s permanent headquarters are in Paris, France.
  5. Parent Organisation – United Nations Economic and Social Council


  1. The primary goals of UNESCO are to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, and culture, and to promote sustainable development and intercultural dialogue.
  2. UNESCO believes that these areas are crucial for building a more just, peaceful, and inclusive world.

Key areas of focus

  1. Education: UNESCO promotes quality education for all, advocating for access to education, improving teacher training, and fostering global citizenship.
  2. Natural Sciences: UNESCO supports scientific research and the application of science to address global challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and sustainable development.
  3. Culture: UNESCO works to safeguard and promote cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, including monuments, sites, traditions, and languages.
  4. It also fosters cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.
  5. Communication and Information: UNESCO promotes freedom of expression, media development, and access to information.
  6. It aims to foster a free, independent, and pluralistic media environment.
  7. UNESCO designates and maintains a list of World Heritage Sites, which are places of outstanding universal value that deserve protection for future generations.

Key reports published by UNESCO

  1. Global Education Monitoring Report
  2. The United Nations World Water Development Report
  3. World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development
  4. Global Ocean Science Report.