The United States has once again become a member of UNESCO

unesco united nations educational scientific and cultural organization vector logo 2022

The US State Department has decided to recommit to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The foreign ministry in Athens welcomed the move, stating that the U.S. return to the organization can be of “significant importance” for UNESCO’s mission.

Before this, the U.S. had withdrawn from the organization in December 2017 due to a series of budget issues plaguing UNESCO. Ever since then, the Americans have maintained a presence in the organization while at the same expressing vocal criticism.

The Greek foreign ministry issued an official statement on the return of the US, noting that the decision is “an important move towards the historical principle of multilateralism that supports global cooperation and dialogue”, and that it demonstrates a “renewed commitment towards the objectives of the organization.”

The resumption of US participation in the organization is expected to create a more balanced atmosphere within UNESCO and, according to Greek sources, will likely entice other countries to “renew their purpose to preserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the world.”

At this juncture, the uncertainty surrounding the future of UNESCO, as well as its underfunded state, still remains. A more stable and committed US presence is expected to positively affect the organization while at the same time helping to strengthen further the principles of sustainable development and dialogue across cultures.

US mission director to UNESCO, Mary K. Sullivan, also commented on the return, noting that the United States is “filled with hope” and that “when our country is at its best, we become part of solutions, not part of the problems.”

This move is of special importance given the current international climate where multilateralism and cooperation have been put on the backburner while unilateral policies have been pushed to the forefront.

The return of the US and the renewed emphasis on its commitment to multilateralism is expected to present invaluable opportunities when it comes to safeguarding and preserving world heritage while at the same time promoting an environment of global union and cooperation that benefits everyone.

The US, which has joined UNESCO’s Executive Board until 2024, is expected to address issues soon, such as the need for increased funding to improve the organization and reform it adequately.

By rejoining UNESCO, the US signals a strong message against unilateralism and the intention to promote peace and dialogue among nations. This aligns with the organization’s underlying principles, as specified in its constitution – the need to maintain justice, peace, and respect for all of humanity’s natural and cultural heritage.


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