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Trump’s UNESCO decision “short-sighted” – NAFSA

The US Department of State announced last week its intention to withdraw the US from membership of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), in a move that has been described as “short-sighted” by an international education body.

UNESCOThe US is withdrawing from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation Photo: unesco.com

A spokesperson for the Department of State, Heather Nauert, said the Department of State notified UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova of the decision to withdraw and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO. 

“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti-Israel bias,” she added.

However CEO of  NAFSA, Esther Brimmer said the Trump administration’s “short-sighted decision” will only serve to isolate the US and waste opportunities for international education.

“This decision will waste critical opportunities to engage in dialogue with other nations”

“As international educators, we believe in engagement, not isolation, as we work to find solutions to the world’s problems,” she said.

“This decision will waste critical opportunities to engage in dialogue with other nations and will only serve to make the United States seem less welcoming and closed to other ideas and perspectives.”

The US withdrawal will take place at the end of next year according to a statement from the Department of State.

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