U.S. moves to rejoin U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

by ian

President Joe Biden is undoing another Trump-era policy. The U.S. is quietly planning to rejoin the UN’s Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The State Department told the UN it had decided to rejoin on June 8. The Biden administration believes it is a necessary step to compete with China, a point underscored by Secretary of State for Management John Bass in March.

In 2017, the Trump administration withdrew from the agency, citing a long-running anti-Israel bias. But Israel told the State Department last year it would not oppose the U.S. returning to UNESCO.

The Obama administration stopped funding UNESCO back in 2011 after Palestine joined the agency. That money must be repaid to clear the way for the U.S. to rejoin.  Planners set aside $150 million in this year’s budget for that purpose, and Congress approved another bill allocating $500 million back in December.

Member states will vote on the U.S. petition in the coming weeks, but so far no country has raised an objection.