Kerry lobbies for U.S. to remain on UNESCO board despite arrears

Oct 21, 2015 During a recent visit to UNESCO’s office in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lobbied for the United States to be reelected to the agency’s board. Secretary Kerry said he will work with Congress to restore funding after the US pulled its contributions in 2011.

While addressing member countries and officials, Kerry said:

“This is a critical time for UNESCO’s mission, a time to build peace in the minds of men and women and that’s why the United States, a founding member of this organization, remains committed to strengthening its role in promoting peace and security,”

After failing to pay its dues, the United States lost its voting rights at the agency’s general assembly in November 2013.

“We are seeking reelection to the executive board because we believe that both the United States and UNESCO are better off the deeper our ties extend. And in standing for reelection, both President Obama and I are also pledging to work with our former colleagues and the U.S. Congress, and do all we can to restore U.S. funding to UNESCO in full,” Kerry added

Prior to 2013, the United State provided about 22 percent of UNESCO’s annual budget. Secretary Kerry also pointed that it would be easier to make a case for funding to Congress if the United States was on the UNESCO’s board.

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