Egypt out of race for UNESCO chief, endorses French candidate

16 Octobre, 2017, 00:59 | Auteur: Lynn Cook
  • Audrey Azoulay

The former minister of culture François Hollande, Audrey Azoulay.

The withdrawal goes into effect at the end of 2018, but it's hard to imagine how Irina Bokova could demand the arrears of US$600 million from Donald Trump, after the U.S. president condemned "bureaucracy and mismanagement" at the U.N. In his first visit to the U.N. last month as the U.S. Commander-in-Chief, Trump lectured the buck-up and reform.

14 de octubre de 2017, 09:00Beijing, Oct 14 (Prensa Latina) China will continue to support UNESCO after the withdrawal of the United States and Israel, and hopes that the new director general of that entity will promote world peace and sustainable development, official sources said.

The proceedings have been overshadowed by the U.S. decision, announced Thursday, to withdraw from the agency.

UNESCO is best known for producing a list of World Heritage sites including tourist favourites such as the Grand Canyon or Cambodia's Angkor Wat.

"Now more than ever UNESCO needs a project... which restores confidence and overcomes political divisions", the foreign ministry said in a statement reacting to the US pullout.

Unlike all previous expectations, the fourth election round to assign a new director general for UNESCO carried a surprise that has never happened in the history of the UN organization. She acknowledged that the U.S. departure, coupled with that of Israel, is "a blow to the organization". He has also pushed for more multlilateralism at a time when the United States has pushed back.

Azouley will take the helm of UNESCO as it battles cash shortages, geopolitical rivalries, and the loss of two member states. UNESCO runs programs to fight the illegal antiquities trade that helped bankroll the Islamic State, and also conducts literacy and education programs in Afghanistan and Iraq meant to wither potential roots of radicalization. In 1984 during the Cold War, America withdrew from the agency because the Reagan administration deemed the organization too susceptible to Moscow's influence and overly critical of Israel.

Ex-president Ronald Reagan first pulled the US out in 1984 over alleged financial mismanagement and claims of anti-US bias in some of its policies.

But in 2011 relations soured again after UNESCO admitted Palestine as a full member, prompting the US to cut its funding to the organisation, leaving a gaping hole in its finances.