France remains committed to UNESCO, but calls for new initiative

PARIS, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has "a critical action" in education, heritage protection and radicalization fight, but it needs fresh initiative to regain confidence of all member countries after the United States' withdrawal, France's foreign ministry said on Thursday.

"More than ever, UNESCO needs an initiative that resonates with all member states, that will restore confidence, overcome political divisions and be dedicated solely to UNESCO's key missions," said the ministry's spokesperson Agnes Romatet-Espagne.

"The future of UNESCO is of particular importance to France," she added, reiterating Paris commitment to the UN cultural agency "critical action and to its areas of expertise... that contribute to achieving UN goal of peace."

France's remarks came after Washington, earlier on Thursday, informed the UNESCO that it would formally withdraw from the organization on Dec. 31, 2018.

"We regret the U.S. decision to withdraw from UNESCO at a time when international support for this organization is crucial," said Romatet-Espagne.

[ Editor: meng ]


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