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Tuesday
June 2019
4:11 AM IST
News Headlines
Bhuvneshwar ruled out of next 2-3 games due to hamstring niggle: Kohli        Shakib 124, Liton 94 guide Bangladesh to 7 wicket victory over WI        Facebook to unveil new cryptocurrency        Sensex drops over 150 pts; Nifty below 11,800        Hong Kong police clear streets as protesters move to park        Argentina, Uruguay restore power after massive blackout        Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong walks free, calls on leader to resign        Don't bother about numbers, your every word is valuable: PM to Oppn        Kejriwal seeks action against cops for thrashing driver        Amarinder seeks Shah's intervention in streetfight between cops and driver in Delhi        WB doctors agree to call off strike during meeting with Mamata        Kerala Congress (M): Jose K Mani elected as Chairman        Cyclone Vayu to recurve towards Gujarat and weaken gradually        Joseph terms Jose K Mani''s election unconstitutional, says ''crowd'' can''t elect chairman        Heatwave claims 61 lives in Bihar        With eyes on 2022, Priyanka to step up UP tours, meet Cong workers twice a week        Hong Kong leader apologises as massive rally chokes city        Gunmen on motorcycles kill 34 villagers in Nigeria: Police        Trump to raise Hong Kong protests with Xi at G20: Pompeo        Protesting doctors turn down Mamata''s invite for talks, say CM has to apologise first        
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International News
US and Israel formally quit UNESCO
 
(Paris, Jan02, 2019):The United States and Israel have officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago.

The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the US after World War II to foster peace.

The Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit, accusing the UN agency of anti-Israel bias.

The Paris-based organisation has previously criticised Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem and granted full membership to Palestine in 2011.

The US has demanded "fundamental reform" in the agency.

UNESCO is best known for its work to preserve heritage, including maintaining a list of World Heritage sites, and programmes to promote education in developing countries.

The withdrawals will not greatly affect UNESCO financially, since it has been dealing with a funding slash ever since 2011 when both Israel and the US stopped paying dues after Palestine was voted in as a member state.

Since then officials estimate that the US - which accounted for around 22 percent of the total budget - has accrued $600m in unpaid dues, which was one of the reasons for President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw. Israel owes an estimated $10m.

Officials say that many of the reasons the US cited for the withdrawal do not apply any more, noting that since then, all 12 texts on the Middle East passed at UNESCO have been consensual among Israel and Arab member states.

The State Department couldn't comment because of the US government shutdown.

Earlier, the department told UNESCO officials the US intends to stay engaged at UNESCO as a non-member "observer state" on "non-politicised" issues, including the protection of World Heritage sites, advocating for press freedom and promoting scientific collaboration and education.

The US could potentially seek that status during the UNESCO Executive Board meetings in April.

The US has pulled out of UNESCO before. The Reagan administration did so in 1984 because it viewed the agency as mismanaged, corrupt, and used to advance Soviet interests. The US rejoined in 2003.


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