Qatar candidate in the lead to head UNESCO

HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-KuwariHE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kuwari

Qatar’s candidate HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kuwari came out ahead in Monday’s first-round vote for the new director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), DPA reported. Dr al-Kuwari got 19 out of 58 votes, followed by French nominee Audrey Azoulay on 13 and Egyptian Moushira Khattab on 11.

The other four candidates are Vera El-Khoury Lacoeuilhe from Lebanon (six votes), Qian Tang from China (five votes), Polad Bulbuloglu from Azerbaijan (two votes) and Pham Sanh Chau from Vietnam (two votes), according to information available on the Twitter page of Unesco.

Members of the agency’s executive board have until Friday to select a successor – by overall majority – to outgoing director general Irina Bokova of Bulgaria. The victor then has to be confirmed by a vote by the general conference of all member countries on November 10.

Fifty-eight members of the Unesco executive board are holding its 202nd session in Paris under the chairmanship of Germany’s ambassador to Unesco Michael Worbs to choose the candidate.

The new director-general will assume office on November 15. The Unesco director-general is appointed for a period of four years, and may be appointed for a further term of four years, but shall not be eligible for reappointment for a subsequent term.