Trump continues his policy of demolishing multilateralism.
The decision made by Donald Trump for the United States to leave UNESCO constitutes more proof of the U.S. president's dangerous strategy to withdraw the world’s most important democracy from multilateral organizations and agreements. Unsurprisingly, this withdrawal parallels some of the devastating critiques of the agreement signed with Iran in 2015 by six countries, one of them being Trump’s own USA, that prevented the Tehran regime from obtaining short-term nuclear weapons.
As highlighted in the statement by outgoing director-general of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the work of this international organization is crucial to strengthen the bonds of a common heritage for mankind. In this sense, the decision from Washington strikes a significant blow to this reputable and accepted project, especially if other countries follow the path marked by the man in the White House. This certainly isn't the first time the United States has withdrawn from UNESCO. During Ronald Reagan’s presidency (1981-1989), a similar measure was enacted after an accusation that the organization harbored political bias toward the interests of the Soviet Union. Now Trump cites a constant anti-Israel bias in decisions made by the organization. In Reagan's case, the decision could have been a strategic move on a large global chessboard on which the former president never stopped playing, whereas Trump's decision seems to stem from a lack of total understanding about the need for the U.S. to be present in all global scenarios where important decisions of any kind are made. If the resolutions by UNESCO referring to Israel don't seem acceptable to the U.S. administration, the logical response would be to employ force and influence from inside the organization to avoid or counter them. The empty seat is always a surrender, and Trump should understand the damage he is doing to his country – and his allies – with this growing isolationist policy.
Even more alarming is the path Trump has initiated with respect to the Iran nuclear agreement, which Trump harshly criticized during the election campaign and which he has kept in the spotlight since taking office. There isn't a week in which he doesn't make negative comments about the treaty, whose primary verifiable result has been the cessation of a nuclear project by Iranian military and the immediate reduction of tension in a region of the world that doesn't exactly need more tension. Completely and deliberately ignoring this, Trump is dedicating his efforts to vilifying the treaty. Most recently, this past Wednesday, Trump reiterated in an interview that the treaty was "incompetently designed." It is necessary to issue a warning that U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear treaty with Iran could mean a devastating hit to stability in the Middle East, if not across the rest of the world. The president’s dangerous isolationist leadership could end up being very costly.