PARIS, 19th October, 2015 (WAM)– U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has promised to work with Congress to restore funding of UNESCO after Washington cut off its contributions.

In a speech at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, Kerry said the United States had led new initiatives and deepened its involvement with UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural and educational arm.

“The United States is a proud candidate for re-election to UNESCO’s executive board, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be here just to talk with all of you … but really to explain to you the depth of the commitment that the United States has to this body, as well as our high hopes for the future,” Kerry told UNESCO ambassadors and officials.

“We so greatly value UNESCO as a platform for cooperation with you, our partners, in advancing so many of the goals that we share as nations,” he added.

Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said the agency’s work on education, especially among girls, as well as countering racism and fighting violent extremism were important to the United States.