The US government announced that it intends to walk out from the international cultural and educational agency of the UN by the end of 2018.

"The decision was not taken slightly and shows that the United States are concerned about the increasing arrears in UNESCO, the need for fundamental reforms and the ongoing anti-Israel bias," - comments the US State Department.

America officially will leave UNESCO on December 31, 2018, but until that moment it will still remain its member. According to the State Department, from 2019 the US intends to take the role of an observer.

The decision to leave was discussed for several months by the administration of President Trump. After a couple of months ago, when the organization denied Jews historical contact with the Wailing Wall and the Temple Mount and called the Cave of the Forefathers (Hebron) the national cultural heritage of the Palestinian people, the US UN ambassador Nikki Randhava Hailey announced that the decision to withdraw from UNESCO would be made as soon as possible. The city is located in the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is a holy place for Jews and Muslims. Haley said that UNESCO's step "undermines the trust that is simply necessary for a successful Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In addition, this further discredits an already rather doubtful UN agency. "

In 2011, the Obama administration reduced the annual contribution to the UNESCO budget by $ 80 million after Palestine joined it as a full member. Obama later tried to restore funding, but it was already late, and this led to the fact that the United States lost the right to vote in the organization in 2013.

Irina Bokova, the outgoing UNESCO Director-General, said that she expressed "deep regret" because of the US decision. "This is a loss for the multilateral system," she said.

"At the time when conflicts are still tearing societies around the world, it is unfortunate that the United States is withdrawing from a United Nations agency that protects culture and promotes education for peace."

Since the United States remains a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO until its official come off, they have the right to vote for a new CEO this week.