The Elders have expressed dismay over the announcements by the United States and Israel that they intend to withdraw from membership of UNESCO, the UN’s education, social and cultural organisation.

Kofi Annan, Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary-General, said:

“While I very much regret the decisions of the US and Israel to pull out of UNESCO over alleged anti-Israel bias, I hope this will not be the final word. I encourage the governments concerned to choose engagement ahead of disengagement and reconsider their positions over the next year.”

The Elders are particularly concerned that the departure from the family of international organisations of two member states could undermine the multilateral system.

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