About Subscribe Submit news Get in touch
 
Home Opinion In depth Video LIVE news Interviews Company profiles Events diary Jobs
US to rejoin Unesco amid rising concerns of Chinese influence | Planet Attractions
     

news

US to rejoin Unesco amid rising concerns of Chinese influence

The US is set to rejoin Unesco, nearly six years after the Trump administration withdrew the country from the organisation. The move comes amid rising concerns that China has been influencing Unesco’s policy making processes




The US’ planned return to Unesco will go to a vote in July   Credit: Christophe Ena/AP

The US is set to rejoin Unesco in July, nearly six years after the Trump administration withdrew the country from the UN’s heritage protection organisation.

Richard Verman, the US deputy secretary of state for management and resources, submitted a letter to Unesco director general Audrey Azoulay in early June, which outlined the US government’s plans to rejoin the organisation.

According to US officials, the move comes amid rising concerns that China has been influencing the organisation’s policy making processes, particularly in the global standard setting for AI and technological education.

The US’s planned return is expected to go to a vote in July, where it will be decided by Unesco’s 193 member states. If approved, the country will pay more than US$600m (€549m, £468) in arrears to the agency, which would be used to support Unesco’s World Heritage projects, as well as its climate change prevention and female literacy programmes.

The news was announced by Azoulay and was met with applause from the member states, making approval highly likely.

Once one of its highest contributors, the US and Israel withdrew funding in 2011 after Palestine was made a member state. In 2013 both countries lost their voting privileges, before the US withdrew from the organisation altogether in 2017, citing management issues and anti-Israel bias.

In the six years since, Azoulay, who was elected Unesco’s director general in 2017, has worked to remedy these concerns, through budget reform and by working with diplomats from Israel, Palestine and Jordan to build a consensus around sensitive Unesco resolutions.

“The US decision to return is the result of five years of work, during which we calmed tensions, notably in the Middle East, improved our response to contemporary challenges, resumed major initiatives on the ground and modernised the functioning of the organisation,” Azoulay told AP.

Under the Biden administration, the US has been seeking to re-engage with Unesco in order to “counter Chinese influence.”

Following the US’s 2017 withdrawal, China upped its Unesco contributions to US$65m (€60m, £50m), becoming the highest contributor to the agency’s annual budget. Since March 2018, after the appointment of Chinese diplomat Xing Qu as deputy director general of Unesco, 56 Chinese heritage sites have been allocated protected status from the World Heritage Committee, making the country one of the most protected nations in the world, second only to Italy.


Heritage

 

Brogent plans Attack on Titan content as company also prepares to open trio of flying theatres in 2024





Attractions.io championing guest experience in 2024 with new product releases





Plans to build second Great Wolf waterpark resort in the UK move step closer after ‘in-principle’ deal agreed




Industry insights



Museum exhibition design trends



Video



WATCH: Steve Drake on accesso’s expanding portfolio


In Depth



Mundo Amazonia: Exploring Bellewaerde Park’s new themed area for 2024



© Kazoo 5 Limited 2024
About Subscribe Get in touch
 
Opinion In depth Interviews
LIVE news Profiles Diary Video
Jobs
US to rejoin Unesco amid rising concerns of Chinese influence | Planet Attractions
news

US to rejoin Unesco amid rising concerns of Chinese influence

The US is set to rejoin Unesco, nearly six years after the Trump administration withdrew the country from the organisation. The move comes amid rising concerns that China has been influencing Unesco’s policy making processes




The US’ planned return to Unesco will go to a vote in July   Credit: Christophe Ena/AP

The US is set to rejoin Unesco in July, nearly six years after the Trump administration withdrew the country from the UN’s heritage protection organisation.

Richard Verman, the US deputy secretary of state for management and resources, submitted a letter to Unesco director general Audrey Azoulay in early June, which outlined the US government’s plans to rejoin the organisation.

According to US officials, the move comes amid rising concerns that China has been influencing the organisation’s policy making processes, particularly in the global standard setting for AI and technological education.

The US’s planned return is expected to go to a vote in July, where it will be decided by Unesco’s 193 member states. If approved, the country will pay more than US$600m (€549m, £468) in arrears to the agency, which would be used to support Unesco’s World Heritage projects, as well as its climate change prevention and female literacy programmes.

The news was announced by Azoulay and was met with applause from the member states, making approval highly likely.

Once one of its highest contributors, the US and Israel withdrew funding in 2011 after Palestine was made a member state. In 2013 both countries lost their voting privileges, before the US withdrew from the organisation altogether in 2017, citing management issues and anti-Israel bias.

In the six years since, Azoulay, who was elected Unesco’s director general in 2017, has worked to remedy these concerns, through budget reform and by working with diplomats from Israel, Palestine and Jordan to build a consensus around sensitive Unesco resolutions.

“The US decision to return is the result of five years of work, during which we calmed tensions, notably in the Middle East, improved our response to contemporary challenges, resumed major initiatives on the ground and modernised the functioning of the organisation,” Azoulay told AP.

Under the Biden administration, the US has been seeking to re-engage with Unesco in order to “counter Chinese influence.”

Following the US’s 2017 withdrawal, China upped its Unesco contributions to US$65m (€60m, £50m), becoming the highest contributor to the agency’s annual budget. Since March 2018, after the appointment of Chinese diplomat Xing Qu as deputy director general of Unesco, 56 Chinese heritage sites have been allocated protected status from the World Heritage Committee, making the country one of the most protected nations in the world, second only to Italy.


 



© Kazoo 5 Limited 2024