U.S. to withdraw from UNESCO, Iowa City disappointed with decision

By  | 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The Trump administration has announced it will withdraw the U-S from the world heritage organization, UNESCO, at the end of next year.

It says the main reason is a "continuing anti-Israel bias." Iowa City is the only UNESCO "city of literature" in the U.S. The city doesn't receive money from UNESCO or the federal government, but the U.S. withdrawal could affect other cities that apply to join UNESCO in the future. One UNESCO official said he's disappointed.

"I know what they do around the world and the impact of the good that they do and it was disappointing to see that we would pull out of that organization," said John Kenyon, the executive director of the Iowa City UNESCO city of literature organization.

Kenyon says the city is preparing to host the annual international meeting of the 20 cities of literature in April 2018.

"While our country may not be part of UNESCO or at that point we'll soon to be leaving UNESCO, our dedication to the goals and mission of UNESCO and what we're doing here locally remains strong," said Kenyon.