UNESCO Director-General regrets departure of Israel

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay believes that states can best overcome differences inside the organization, not outside of it.

December 30, 2017 05:17
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. (photo credit: PHILIPPE WOJAZER / REUTERS)

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay confirmed on Friday that she was officially informed by the government of Israel that it wishes to leave the organization.

Israel would effectively leave UNESCO on 31 December 2018, ending a membership that began in 1949.

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Azoulay, who is herself Jewish, pointed out that UNESCO had “developed a unique program of education about the Holocaust” and is committed to prevent all forms of racism and anti-Semitism.

She also mentioned noted Israelis who are associated to UNESCO such as sculptor Dani Karavan [Artist for Peace] and Nobel prize winner Professor Ada Yonath [crystallographer].

Israel currently has nine cultural sites, Azoulay stated, listed in the World Heritage List.

Anemones at the Megiddo Airport / Joe Yudin

They include the White City of Tel Aviv and Masada – among others.

Megiddo and Mount Carmel are members of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves created by UNESCO.

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