U.S. Will Rejoin UNESCO in July

Tags: International News

United Nations Sustainable Development GroupThe United States will rejoin UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, in July 2023.

An overview of the news

  • The move ends Washington's more than ten-year dispute with the UN cultural agency after the US left UNESCO in 2018.

  • US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma submitted a letter to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay last week to formalize plans to rejoin.

  • In addition, the US will also pay an outstanding balance of over $600 million.

America's reason for being out of UNESCO

  • The United States exited UNESCO primarily due to the induction of Palestine as a member in 2011. 

  • This move resulted in the US suspending its funding to the agency, which amounted to millions of dollars, during the presidency of Barack Obama.

  • The reason behind the US halting funding was that Palestine is not recognized as a sovereign state by the United Nations. 

  • While Palestine was granted non-member observer state status in 2012, enabling its participation in General Assembly proceedings, it did not possess voting rights.

Why did the USA rejoin UNESCO?

  • The absence of the United States from UNESCO allowed China to gain greater influence within the organization.

  • Recognizing the need to maintain a strong international presence and influence, the US has sought to re-engage to counter China's growing authority.

  • By rejoining, the US is seeking to regain its role in shaping and influencing UNESCO's policies.


  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN).

  • It is also a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UN SDG), a coalition of United Nations agencies and organisations that aims to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  • Headquarters:- Paris, France

  • Director General: -Audrey Azoulay

  • Founded:- 16 November 1945 in London, United Kingdom

  • The organisation has -193 members and 11 associate members.

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