“As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to UNESCO. This organization has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning.”
George W. Bush
57th UN General Assembly, September 12, 2002
Why the United States is Rejoining UNESCO
• UNESCO’s mission and programming reflect and advance a wide range of U.S. interests. For example, UNESCO manages the “Education for All” program, which promotes universal basic education and literacy. This initiative advances U.S. educational goals worldwide and closely parallels the U.S. “No Child Left Behind” program.
• UNESCO advocates education that promotes tolerance and civic responsibility. This is a key to building democracy and combating terrorism.
• UNESCO helps countries protect their natural and cultural heritage. It promotes adoption of sound scientific standards. These efforts are important in maintaining a healthy balance between continuity and imperatives for change.
• UNESCO promotes press freedom and independent media, essential foundations of democracy.
• UNESCO brings countries together to address issues that have significant implications for the future, such as bioethics and cultural diversity. The United States intends to be a full and active participant in these deliberations.
“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”
American poet Archibald MacLeish
Preamble of the UNESCO Constitution