The Question of Withdrawals

  • Mark F. Imber
Part of the Southampton Studies in International Policy book series (SSIP)


On 28 December 1983, United States Secretary of State George Shultz addressed a letter to Amadou M’Bow, the Director General of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announcing that the United States intended to withdraw, that is, resign from the organization with effect from 31 December 1984. The letter served one year’s notice of the American government’s intention to review its future participation in the organization, and then either rescind or carry through its notice of withdrawal. The period of notice conformed to the requirements of the UNESCO constitution and twelve months later the withdrawal was effected. This action was prompted by many factors which will be fully discussed in Chapter 6. The salient causes cited by the US administration included allegations of politicization, meaning, in this instance, that elements in UNESCO’s programme dealt with matters that were extraneous to its mandate, or were in some sense biased and anti-Western in tone and execution. The quality of UNESCO’s management and its budgetary growth were also criticized. These latter two were charges which were, at the time, peculiar to UNESCO, however, politicization was not a novel complaint.1


Security Council Specialized Agency International Labour Organization Khmer Rouge Reagan Administration 
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    A. Hirschman, Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations and States, Harvard, 1970.Google Scholar
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    L. M. Goodrich and E. Hambro, The Charter of the United Nations, Stevens, 1949, p. 144.Google Scholar
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    H. K. Jacobson, The USSR and the UN’s Economic and Social Activities, Notre Dame, 1963, pp. 143–4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mark F. Imber 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark F. Imber
    • 1
  1. 1.University of St. AndrewsUSA

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