The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azouley, recently announced that the USA will rejoin UNESCO after several years absence. See the press briefing from UNESCO here.
You might recall from my memoir that my last international development assignment was as Team Leader on the UNESCO co-managed Skills and Technical Education Program in Malawi.
STEP was a wonderful initiative typical of UNESCO’s endeavors to promote quality education for young and not so young persons around the globe.
The US had been the largest financial contributor to UNESCO until it initially suspended support due to internal agency management challenges and later withdrew its membership entirely. As a result, UNESCO had to reduce its operations in some countries and not take up initiatives in certain others. As part of the agreement to rejoin, UNESCO will continue its management reform and the US will repay outstanding membership payments. This agreement can only have positive effects.
Kudos to the UNESCO Director-General for her leadership in reaching an agreement and to her American counterparts as well.
For more information on what UNESCO does and where, see their website.