Irina Bokova, director-general of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), addresses the press at the United Nations headquarters in New York, April 12, 2016. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
PARIS, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Irina Bokova, UNESCO director general, on Thursday expressed "profound regret" over the United States' decision to withdraw from the UN education and culture body, calling the move "a loss of multilateralism".
The United States on Thursday informed the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that it would formally withdraw from the organization on Dec. 31, 2018.
"At the time when the fight against violent extremism calls for renewed investment in education, in dialogue among cultures to prevent hatred, it is deeply regrettable that the United States should withdraw from the United Nations agency leading these issues," Bokova said.
In 2011, it suspended payment of membership contributions to oppose a decision to grant the Palestinians full membership.
"UNESCO's task is not over, and we will continue taking it forward, to build a 21st century that is more just, peaceful, equitable, and, for this, UNESCO needs the leadership of all states," Bokova stressed.
"UNESCO will continue to work for the universality of this organization, for the values we share, for the objectives we hold in common, to strengthen a more effective multilateral order and a more peaceful, more just world," she pledged.