Americans for the Universality of UNESCO was formed in 1984, date of the US withdrawal from UNESCO, under the leadership of John E. Fobes, former Deputy Director General of UNESCO under Rene Maheu and Amadou Mahtar M’bow. Its purpose was to foster sound US private relations with UNESCO and to stimulate US re-entry into the global cultural organization. When the U.S. announced re-entry in September 2002, AUU moved to Washington. Leadership passed to the present chairman and AUU’s name was changed to reflect re-entry.
Americans for UNESCO aims at supporting and enhancing US participation with UNESCO, in collaboration with the US National Commission, the Department of State, the UN Association, the UN Foundation, concerned government agencies, research institutes, universities and NGOs, and UNESCO itself. Regarding UNESCO and its programs, AU aims to increase public knowledge in America, foster civil-sector support, promote institutional and individual interaction, facilitate collaborative interaction, and organize interactive meetings where appropriate.