I was an UNESCO brat. That is why it is personal. My adoptive father worked for UNESCO from September 1968 to c. 2013 — Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to UNESCO from 1985 to 1992. From 1992 till c. 2013 (or even later) he had honorary (I think) advisory roles with them. During the 18 years he worked for UNESCO itself he was based in Paris (2 terms), New Delhi & Bangkok. When he was Ambassador to UNESCO be was based in Paris and was also the Sri Lankan Ambassador to France.
So, I am no stranger to UNESCO. UNESCO put me through school. Whether that was right or wrong is another matter — BUT such ‘financial support for kids’ is pretty standard with most ‘international’ jobs because there is this belief that the kids have been uprooted from their home country (which is, of course, true).
Yes, I have seen BOTH the good and bad of UNESCO — and in my youth there have been times when I have railed against and ridiculed the extravagance and waste. Yes, ‘senior staff’, especially the diplomats (such as my adoptive father) led a good life, but that again is par for the course for all diplomats.
Yes, UNESCO has done good and the ‘Silk Road Program‘ (and I was actually there for the Sri Lanka chapter of that in 1980) and the World Heritage Sites are but SOME of the examples. No question that, by and large, developing countries get more benefits from UNESCO than the developed ones. But, that was the point of setting up UNESCO. To spread and share the largess.
All that said …
The U.S. has NOT been PAYING its member contribution to UNESCO since 2011 and now owes upwards of $600 MILLION!
That UNESCO did NOT kick-out the U.S. during that time is a disgrace to UNESCO.
I do NOT think that the U.S. or any other country should be able to PICK-AND-CHOSE their membership affiliations with UN Agencies.
It should be ONE-FOR-ALL, & ALL-FOR-ONE.
If the U.S. wants to be a part of the UN it also has to belong to UNESCO and pay its dues!
This is not going to happen till December 31, 2018 and that is a LONG WAY away. Much water will flow under all the bridges in the World prior to that.
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