Published: Dim, Octobre 15, 2017
Économie | By Estienne Trouve

Trump pulls out of UNESCO because of anti-Israel bias

Trump pulls out of UNESCO because of anti-Israel bias

Founded in the wake of WWII, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is best known for its list of World Heritage sites-including Stonehenge, the Grand Canyon, and the Cambodia's Angkor Wat.

Her name first came up as candidate for the spot at the twilight of François Hollande's presidency when she served as culture minister.

UNESCO Member States presented nine candidates for the position: Polad Bülbüloglu (Azerbaijan), Qian Tang (China), Moushira Khattab (Egypt), Audrey Azoulay (France), Juan Alfonso Fuentes Soria (Guatemala), Saleh Al-Hasnawi (Iraq), Vera El-Khoury Lacoeuilhe (Lebanon), Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari (Qatar), Pham Sanh Chau (Viet Nam).

The agency's outgoing head, Bulgaria's Irina Bokova, told French radio that UNESCO's "universal mission was in jeopardy".

In fact, countries hosting UN agency headquarters rarely seek to also conquer the agencies' leadership.

Former French culture minister Audrey Azoulay wins after heated election overshadowed by Middle East tensions.

Ms Azoulay's nomination must be approved by the agency's 195 member states on November 10, a vote that has never previously gone against the board's nominee.

"U.S. taxpayers should no longer be on the hook to pay for policies that are hostile to our values and make a mockery of justice and common sense", Haley said.

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After President Obama pulled U.S. funding-which accounted for more than 20% of UNESCO's operating budget-the organization was forced to cut programs and institute a hiring freeze.

But it has suffered in recent years from a lack of funding as well as accusations of political bias, especially on matters related to the Israelis and Palestinians.

The foreign ministry in Doha said in a statement that al-Kuwari ran the electoral process with honour and integrity, while it praised the electoral process for its fairness and transparency. But its mandate includes access to quality education, a diverse cultural environment, freedom of expression, and basic human dignity for citizens of all member nations.

Unesco's difficulties were compounded on Thursday when the Trump administration announced that it would withdraw from the organization.

It is only now, with one foot out of door, that Jerusalem is beginning to consider what Azoulay's election actually means for Israel.

The Arab candidates dropped out of the race one after the other.

They are divided between backers of oil-rich Qatar and its poorer rival Egypt, which is part of a Saudi-led coalition that has been blockading Qatar since June over its alleged support for radical Islamists and ties to Iran.

The United States will withdraw by the end of next year, but will remain a nonmember observer at Unesco, according to American officials.

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