Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Audrey Azoulay Head-to-Head with Former Qatari Minister — UNESCO President Vote

Egypt: Khattab Gets 12 Votes in 2nd Round of Unesco Election No results in third stage of voting to elect UNESCO director general
Howard Terry | 14 October, 2017, 00:47

The Chinese candidate Tang Qian, who serves as UNESCO's Assistant-Director General for Education, and Lebanese global law expert Vera El Khoury respectively had five and four votes only.

The six candidates who made it to the vote were Moushira Khattab (Egypt), Audrey Azoulay (France), Polad Bülbüloglu (Azerbaijan), Juan Alfonso Fuentes Soria (Guatemala), Pham Sanh Chau (Vietnam), Qian Tang (China), and former Qatari Minister of Culture Hamad Abdul Aziz al-Kawari, who is now the cultural affairs adviser to the Emir of Qatar.

Egypt's foreign ministry says it is demanding an inquiry into alleged "violations" during the elections for the top position at the U.N.'s cultural agency. More than ever, UNESCO needs an initiative that resonates with all member states, one that will restore confidence, overcome political divisions and be dedicated exclusively to UNESCO's key missions.

Azoulay received 31 votes, compared to 25 for Egyptian human rights activist Moushira Khattab.

The next vote between the French and Egyptian candidates will see who competes with al-Kuwari in the final round to be held later on Friday.

The victor must be confirmed by the UNESCO general conference next month and will replace outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova in January 2018.

Qatar has lobbied intensely for the post - and has increased its financial contribution to support UNESCO in recent years - but its candidate has been dogged by old allegations of anti-Semitism.

The future of UNESCO is of particular importance to France, the country in which it has its headquarters.

Al-Kuwari topped the voting and qualified for the final round.

Qatar's Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari and France's Audrey Azoulay are vying to get the needed 30 votes from UNESCO's executive board.

UNESCO's general assembly will have to sign off on the board's pick.

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