Bulgaria's Bokova Officially Confirmed as UNESCO Head

Politics » DIPLOMACY | October 6, 2009, Tuesday // 08:03| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Bokova Officially Confirmed as UNESCO Head Irina Bokova, 57, defeated Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny after a suspenseful and drawn-out race, sealing victory in the fifth round of balloting at the organization's Paris headquarters. Photo by BGNES

The appointment of Bulgarian Irina Bokova as UNESCO Director General will be officially confirmed at a general conference to run from October 6 till October 23.

Irina Bokova, 57, defeated Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny after a suspenseful and drawn-out race, sealing victory in the fifth round of balloting at the organization's Paris headquarters on September 22.

There were originally nine applicants for the position. Hosny had been seen as the favorite throughout the campaign as he had been nominated by Egypt, Kuwait, Sudan and Libya.

Bokova emerged to beat Farouk Hosny after two countries on UNESCO's executive board switched sides at the last minute and backed her.

UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded on 16 November 1945.

The organization's headquarters are in Paris, and it has over 50 offices and several institutes and centers around the world, like the Institute for Statistics in Montreal and the International Bureau of Education in Geneva.

Irina Bokova is set to be the first woman and the first eastern European to lead the agency.

Bokova has campaigned for women's rights throughout her political career and this victory has been seen by many as the icing on the cake.

Critics - including some in her own country - argue that she should be disqualified because her father, Georgi Bokov, edited Bulgaria's leading Communist newspaper and because of her own former membership in the Communist Party.

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Tags: UNESCO, Irina Bokova
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