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US and UNESCO Rapprochement

In 2011, brought to your attention the story entitled UNESCO saves US $60 million (for the arts) — Trick or Treat. Now, the US government is re-committing itself to the UNESCO mission and looking to restore relationships with this international cultural organization. One of the steps being taken is the lobby effort to change the US legislation to allow US to pay dues to the United Nations.

To review: the US contributions were withheld for three years following the UNESCO’s acceptance of the Palestinian Authority as a full member. According to Anny Shaw of the Art Newspaper, a spokeswoman for the State Department indicated that the State Department has “been working with Congress to find a solution that allows the president, where appropriate, to waive existing legal restrictions so that we can pay our financial contributions and fully participate in UN organizations that serve our national interests.”

If these efforts succeed, the funds earmarked for UNESCO will be discharged in 2014.  Apparently, the US will be paying arrears as well as the 2014 dues, totaling almost $78 million.

Source: The Art Newspaper.