US Current Affairs

US withdraws from UNESCO accusing it for anti-Israel bias

The United States has announced its withdrawal from Paris-based United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), UN’s cultural agency accusing the body of anti-Israel bias. Besides US, Israel has also decided to pull out of UNESCO. US withdrawal will take effect on December 31, 2018. Until then, it will remain a full member. US has announced to establish an observer mission to replace its representation at UNESCO.

Background

USA and UNESCO were at loggerheads since 2011, after UNESCO had admitted Palestinian territories to the organization as an independent member-state called Palestine. UNESCO was first UN agency to recognise and admit Palestine as full member. The recognition was against US policy in Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This was against US’s law which cut off its funding for any organization that recognizes independent Palestine. The US had previously paid for 22% ($80 million) of UNESCO’s annual budget. UNESCO in 2013, had suspended US voting rights in its core decision-making bodies after US missed several rounds of payments to UNESCO.

United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

UNESCO is UN organization that helps preserve historical and cultural sites worldwide. It is special multi-country agency, formed in 1945 and based in France. It promotes literacy and sex education as well as improving gender equality in countries around the world. It is also known for recognising world heritage sites and work to preserve cultural and heritage sites such as ancient ruins, villages and temples, and historic sites.

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India ranks 8th in 2017 Valuable Nation Brand List

According to Brand Finance’s recently released Nation Brands 2017 report, India was ranked 8th out of 100 countries on a list of most valuable nation brands. This year India slipped by one spot compared to 7th rank in 2016 and ceded its previous spot to Canada.

Key Facts

Top 10 Valuable Nation brands are United States (1st), China (2nd), Germany (3rd), Japan (4th), United Kingdom  (5th), France  (6th), Canada (7th), India  (8th), Italy (9th) and South Korea (10th).

In terms of valuation, India’s National Brand Value in 2017 is $2.04 trillion, down by 1% from last year’s $2.06 trillion. However, India’s brand rating has improved from ‘AA-‘ to ‘AA’. Despite rating improvement, India has not feature in list of 10 best performing nation brands which is topped by Iceland topped.

Asian nation brands are seeing a boom as Western countries stagnate.  China is fastest growing nation brand and has seen a record rise of $3.1 trillion. However, China’s nation brand value is half of that of the United States.

Valuable Nation Brand List

World’s most valuable nation list released as part Nation Brands report by Brand Finance measures strength and value of nation brands of 100 leading countries. Its method is based on royalty relief mechanism employed to value the world’s largest companies. The valuation is based on 5 year forecasts of sales of all brands in each nation and follows a complex process in which Gross domestic product (GDP) is used as a proxy for total revenues.

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