Washington, October 12, 2017 — Today, the U.S. Department of State announced its intention to withdraw the United States from membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The following is a statement from Dr. Esther Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
“As international educators, we believe in engagement, not isolation, as we work to find solutions to the world’s problems. We are again disappointed by another Trump administration short-sighted decision, this time to withdraw from UNESCO. Understanding and protecting the cultural heritage of the world’s people, promoting scientific advancement and supporting educational opportunities are vital to building a more secure and peaceful world. While the United States has differed on important matters with some UNESCO members, withdrawing from the organization will further isolate us from the rest of the world, something that we cannot afford to let happen. This decision will waste critical opportunities to engage in dialogue with other nations and will only serve to make the United States seem less welcoming and closed to other ideas and perspectives.”