First lady Jill Biden landed in Paris early Monday morning ready to celebrate the United States formally rejoining a U.N. arts and culture agency which has billed the White House $619 million for its trouble.
After flying in from Washington, DC, Jill Biden will have a day of rest before speaking at a ceremony Tuesday at the headquarters of the globalist United Nations Scientific, Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The diplomatic trip will reverse former President Donald Trump’s decision in 2018 to withdraw the U.S. from the organization after he accused it of anti-Israel bias bound up in an opaque bureaucracy driven by political agendas.
The Trump administration decision was hailed as a moral stance against antisemitism.
The U.S. and Israel stopped financing UNESCO after it voted to include anti-Israel Palestine as a member state in 2011.
At the time, former President Barack Obama withdrew funding from the agency which was followed by Trump leaving it altogether.
The Biden administration has requested $150 million for the 2024 budget to go toward UNESCO dues and arrears. The plan foresees similar requests for the ensuing years until the full debt of $619 million is repaid, as Breitbart News reported.
That makes up a big chunk of UNESCO’s $534 million annual operating budget. Before leaving, the U.S. contributed 22 percent of the agency’s overall funding.
The United States first withdrew from UNESCO under the Reagan administration in 1984 because it viewed the agency as mismanaged, corrupt and used to advance Soviet interests.
It rejoined in 2003 during George W. Bush’s presidency. His wife, Laura, spoke at the ceremony.
Apart from paying its back dues, the Biden White House has also agreed to fund 22 percent of UNESCO’s future budget and contribute to programs in Africa among others.
“I am encouraged and grateful that UNESCO members have accepted the U.S. proposal,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement acknoweldging the return to the organization.