The United States will rejoin the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in July and pay back dues, according to Audrey Azoulay, the organization’s director-general. The Trump administration previously withdrew from UNESCO after the UN’s cultural arm exhibited anti-U.S. and anti-Israel bias, celebrated human rights abusers, and cozied up to communist China. While the State Department is framing the move to rejoin UNESCO as intended to counter Chinese influence, any move to send American taxpayer dollars to the United Nations and its various projects will fund a coalition known for spreading Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda.
“This is a strong act of confidence, in UNESCO and in multilateralism. Not only in the centrality of the Organization’s mandate – culture, education, science, information – but also in the way this mandate is being implemented today,” Azoulay said.
Under President Barack Obama in 2011, the U.S. cut funding to UNESCO over their acceptance of Palestinian membership, following a U.S. law that bars funding UN groups whose members do not possess “internationally recognized attributes of statehood.” The Trump administration officially withdrew from UNESCO at the end of 2018.
Congress approved a waiver to the law through the appropriations bill in December, allowing the Department of State to include a request for funding to rejoin UNESCO in their fiscal year 2024 budget request.
When questioned in March, State Department Under Secretary for Management John Bass claimed the funding request was a step toward countering Chinese global influence.
“If we’re really serious about the digital-age competition with China, from my perspective, in a clear-eyed set of interests, we can’t afford to be absent any longer from one of the key fora in which standards around education for science and technology are set,” Bass said.
UN organizations have demonstrated that they are supportive of China and its global influence campaign, especially through the World Health Organization’s defense and parroting of CCP talking points during and after Covid. The Trump administration detached from the WHO in 2020, a year and a half after leaving UNESCO, in an attempt to avoid the UN health agency’s obvious alliance with China. UNESCO itself has been accused of weakness toward China and of pro-communist tendencies.
Our current administration is establishing a pattern of funding organizations that promote propaganda from an aggressive nation, ignoring Chinese spy balloons over our heads and a spy base in our backyard.
According to UNESCO, the State Department explained in a letter that the U.S. “welcomed the way in which UNESCO had addressed in recent years emerging challenges, modernized its management, and reduced political tensions.”
Recently, UNESCO has pushed “social and emotional learning” programs designed to reduce individualism, while other UN agencies have advocated for the normalization of pedophilia. UNESCO has also maintained the problematic positions that prompted the U.S. to leave in the first place.
UNESCO’s statement referenced a “proposed financing plan” which the State Department allegedly included in its letter, and the Biden administration’s requested 2024 budget includes $150 million for UNESCO payments and back dues. “The plan foresees similar requests for the ensuing years until the full debt of $619 million is paid off,” according to the Associated Press.