U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier that Washington should solve the problem of incomplete payment of its part of contributions to the UN budget, as well as return to UNESCO.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) welcomes the intention of the United States to return to its membership, but is awaiting an official decision on this matter.

“As UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay has always stressed, the purpose of the organization is universal, and there is obviously a place for the United States and Israel in UNESCO. We are pleased that the work carried out by the CEO over the past four years has led to the fact that the U.S. administration has taken an official position in favor of restoring membership. Now they have to make a decision about returning, and we hope that they will accept it,” the representative of the organization said.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee that Washington should solve the problem of incomplete payment of its part of contributions to the UN budget, as well as return to UNESCO. According to him, the absence of the United States in the organization is harmful to Americans. As an example, he cited the restoration of membership in the UN Human Rights Council, after which Washington had “the opportunity to lead the creation of a commission to investigate [the events] in Ukraine.”

In January, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN stated that the United States remains the largest debtor of the UN with a debt of about 1 billion.

In 2011, the United States refused to participate in the financing of UNESCO after being accepted into its ranks as a full member of Palestine. Israel also followed the example of the United States. As a result, the international organization lost 22% of its funding. In October 2017, the United States announced its withdrawal from UNESCO. This decision came into force on December 31, 2018. Among the reasons for this decision, the United States called the arrears of membership fees and the “anti-Israeli bias” of the organization.