Western media: Trump does not recognize the value of UNESCO

If, under Reagan, the withdrawal of the United States from UNESCO was a tactical move, then Trump, apparently, simply does not understand why it is necessary to be present at all global platforms, the media write.

The State Department argued this decision of the «anti-Israeli position of UNESCO», which adopted Palestine in 2011, and financial issues — in fact, this is a continuation of the presidential policy of isolationism.

«The United States plans to formally withdraw from UNESCO, the cultural, scientific and educational organization of the United Nations, to save money and oppose what it considers the organization’s anti-Israel bias,» writes the American publication Foreign Policy.

«The Ronald Reagan administration decided to leave UNESCO in 1984, at the height of the Cold War, citing corruption and what it saw as an ideological bias towards the Soviet Union and against the West,» the author recalls. «President George W. Bush returned the country to organization in 2002, stating that UNESCO has cleaned up the bookkeeping and got rid of the most dangerous anti-Western and anti-Israel deviations. »

«However, six years ago, the United States stopped paying contributions of more than $ 80 million a year (about 22% of UNESCO’s total budget), after the organization accepted Palestine into its ranks,» the article says. Now the US debt has exceeded $ 500 million, and Tillerson wants to stop this drain of funds, explains Lynch.

«However, the main cause of tension is UNESCO’s approach to Israel,» the author notes: last year, the organization condemned Israel’s policy of places of worship in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and in July of this year declared the Old City of Hebron a Palestinian site of heritage.

The announcement of the withdrawal of the United States from the main UN agency for culture is the right decision, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“For decades, UNESCO has been a political agency,” the editorial says. “The Soviet Union ran its educational programs, and its anti-American bias has not gone away. The current UN chief, Irina Bokova, is a Bulgarian with a communist past who ran for the post of UN secretary general with the support of Vladimir Putin. «.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley accused UNESCO of «a long line of stupid actions», reproaching, in particular, that «the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was left in the UNESCO Human Rights Committee, despite his bloody massacre of peaceful protesters.»

«Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from UNESCO is another sign of his dangerous strategy, as a result of which the world’s most important democratic country is withdrawing from multilateral organizations and agreements,» El País writes in an editorial. It is no coincidence that Trump concurrently criticized the «nuclear agreement» between Iran and the «six» world powers.

«Upon learning of the US withdrawal from UNESCO, its Director General Irina Bokova emphasized: the efforts of this international organization are of key importance for strengthening relations based on the common heritage of mankind,» the article says.

According to the publication, if under Reagan the US withdrawal from UNESCO was a tactical move, then Trump, apparently, simply does not understand why it is necessary to be present at all global platforms. «If the US administration considers UNESCO’s decisions concerning Israel unacceptable, it would be logical to oppose them within the framework of UNESCO itself,» writes El País.

As for the INP agreement, the newspaper believes that it stopped Iran’s military nuclear program and reduced tensions in the Middle East. The possible withdrawal of the United States from this agreement will be a crushing blow to stability throughout the world, warns the publication: «The dangerous drift of the US president towards isolationism could be very costly.»

The United States and Israel are turning their backs on UNESCO, writes Der Spiegel columnist Mark Pitske. Trump officially announced his decision on Thursday — and Israel immediately announced a similar step. The representatives of the State Department called the reasons for leaving the «anti-Israel position of UNESCO», which adopted Palestine in 2011, and financial issues.

«Such argumentation is not new,» Pitske comments. «At one time, it led to a crisis between UNESCO and Washington under Barack Obama.» However, «Trump has gone to the maximum escalation of the conflict, and this shows how little he cares about international obligations and how consistently he isolates America from the rest of the world.»

This leads to dramatic consequences: 22% of the organization’s budget was provided by the United States. UNESCO continues to issue invoices to America — currently the debt has exceeded $ 500 million. «Now the organization will have to write it off completely,» the journalist believes.

“Most people know UNESCO as an organization that helps preserve the world’s cultural heritage. However, its activities are much broader: it is engaged in the creation of a global network of ideas, cultures, information and science, education, freedom of speech, equality and the fight against racism — but all these topics Trump is not interested, «the article says.

For the first time, the United States left the organization in 1984, and in 2002, under George W. Bush, it returned there. «UNESCO remained a ball in the geopolitical game,» Pitske writes. «The controversy over Palestine escalated last year: Israel recalled its ambassador after UNESCO passed a high-profile resolution on East Jerusalem, declaring the Temple Mount a Palestinian cultural heritage.»

«When the organization recognized the Palestinian city of Hebron as a world cultural heritage this summer, it was an appropriate excuse for Trump to show solidarity with Israel and continue the US isolationist path,» the article said .

The American president demonstrates consistency in this issue: after leaving the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) and the Paris Climate Agreement, he threatens to revise nuclear agreements with Tehran and flirts with the idea of ​​abolishing the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), the author notes.

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