Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Culture

Bulgarian candidate beats Egypt's Hosni to top job

Video by Claire BONNICHON , Oliver FARRY

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-23

Bulgaria's former foreign minister Irina Bokova (photo) won the top job at the UN's cultural agency on Tuesday, beating Egyptian Farouk Hosni. The heavily disputed race was clouded by accusations of anti-Semitism against her Egyptian rival.

AFP - Bulgarian former foreign minister Irina Bokova won the top job at the UN culture agency Tuesday after a race clouded by anti-Semitism accusations against her Egyptian rival, a UNESCO official said.     

 

Bokova was elected director general of the Paris-based UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation after five rounds of voting by UNESCO's executive council that finally eliminated her main rival, Faruq Hosni.
  
Hosni, currently Egypt's culture minister, has been dogged by anti-Semitism accusations after saying last year that he would burn Israeli books.
  
The vote by UNESCO's 58-nation executive council gave Bokova 31 votes and gave 27 to Hosni, a diplomat said.
  
Bokova is a former communist turned europhile who has represented Bulgaria on UNESCO's board since 2007 and is also ambassador to France and Monaco.
  
When she takes over from Japan's Koichiro Matsuura -- after her appointment is endorsed in October by UNESCO's 193-member assembly -- she will become the body's first woman boss and its first from the former Soviet bloc.
  
The multilingual 57-year-old, who helped draft her country's new constitution after the fall of Communism, served briefly as foreign minister in 1996-1997 and has worked at UN headquarters in New York. 
  
Nine candidates were in the running when UNESCO's council began voting last Thursday, including European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who was seen as a favourite.
  
But they dropped out one by one until only Bokova and Hosni were left.
  
Hosni's supporters had said his election as the first Arab head of UNESCO, which has a mandate to promote global understanding through culture, science and education, would send a positive signal from the West to the Muslim world.
  
But his detractors, who include Auschwitz survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, said his appointment would "shame" the global community.
  

Date created : 2009-09-22

COMMENT(S)