by Alex Newman at thewashingtonstandard.com
Despite an ongoing scandal involving the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) leadership and the agency’s decision to flout U.S. law by admitting the “State of Palestine” as a member state, the United States is now formally seeking to rejoin.
However, lawmakers may scuttle the effort by refusing to provide necessary funding.
If it moves forward, rejoining the U.N. education and culture agency is expected to cost U.S. taxpayers more than half a billion dollars just to rejoin, with additional funding expected each year going forward.
There has been some criticism in Congress already. And congressional appropriators dealing with foreign operations and State Department funding have vowed to terminate funding for UNESCO in the 2024 budget.
The Biden administration and defenders of the move argue that rejoining the agency would help counter the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department told The Epoch Times that the move would advance U.S. interests and restore American leadership.
In a June 8 letter to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay obtained by The Epoch Times, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Richard Verma also argued that the international agency had made progress in addressing the concerns that caused the U.S. government to withdraw in 2018.
But critics contend that, among other concerns, rejoining the U.N. agency would actually be a boon to the CCP, which has members serving in senior positions.
It would also benefit other forces hostile to U.S. interests and allies such as Israel, according to experts, lawmakers, and former officials.
Opponents of the move who spoke to The Epoch Times, including senior officials behind the 2017 decision to leave UNESCO, slammed the Biden administration’s move to rejoin.
“They ought to be paying us to be involved,” argued former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs of State Kevin Moley, who, along with former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, shepherded the withdrawal through to completion.
Speaking to The Epoch Times in a phone interview, Ambassador Moley said the decision would not serve U.S. interests. Instead, he argued, it will benefit U.S. adversaries such as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Citing a variety of issues including anti-Semitism, waste, corruption, and extremism within the U.N. education agency, the Trump administration announced that the U.S. government would withdraw from the organization in 2017.
Pointing to murderous dictatorships on the agency’s “human rights” committee and other policies, then-U.N. Ambassador Haley at the time said the “extreme politicization” of UNESCO had “become a chronic embarrassment.”
“Just as we said in 1984 when President Reagan withdrew from UNESCO, U.S. taxpayers should no longer be on the hook to pay for policies that are hostile to our values and make a mockery of justice and common sense,” Haley said.