(Washington) On Wednesday, the head of US diplomacy, Anthony Blinken, called for the United States to return to UNESCO to confront China in particular.
“I really think we should go back to UNESCO,” the secretary of state told a US Senate committee.
“Not to give them a gift, but because what happens there really matters,” he said, citing in particular discussions within the Paris-based organization about artificial intelligence or in education.
Under former President Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Agency in late 2018, in retaliation for what it said was anti-Israel bias. They had already stopped paying their dues in 2011 when the Palestinians became members.
Mr. Blinken noted, “China is now the largest contributor to UNESCO, and we’re not even at the table. It’s important that we go back.”
The US State Department requested $150 million to fund this final dividend in the Biden administration’s 2024 budget proposal, which was recently submitted to Congress for approval.