The United States and Israel have officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago.

The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the US after World War II to foster peace.

The Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu followed suit, accusing the UN agency of anti-Israel bias.

The Paris-based organisation has previously criticised Israel’s occupation of East Jeruselam, naming ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites, and granting full membership to Palestine in 2011.