Lundi, 20 Novembre, 2017

French candidate picked as next UNESCO chief — The Latest

Image result for French culture minister Audrey Azoulay to lead UNESCO US to quit Unesco over its alleged anti-Israel bias
Napoleon Lievremont | 15 Octobre, 2017, 00:51

Israel has said it will join the US in pulling out of the UN's cultural organisation Unesco, after US officials cited "anti-Israel bias".

Azoulay now faces Qatar's Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari in a final vote scheduled for Friday evening.

Confronted with Arab divisions, France presented Azoulay as a consensus figure, who could mend fences within the organization and soothe tensions caused by recent resolutions against Israel.

Azoulay started the week with much less support than al-Kawari but built up backing as other candidates dropped out.

He has notably been accused by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which combats anti-Semitism, of remaining silent over the presence of anti-Semitic books at a fair in Doha when he was culture minister.

"Unfortunately, this venue has become politicised, undermining the work of Unesco across its mandate".

Praising Trump's decision as "brave and moral", Netanyahu said he has ordered Israeli diplomats to prepare for Israel's withdrawal from the organisation in concert with the Americans. La France continuera à se battre pour la science, l'éducation et la culture dans le monde.

Azoulay and HaChohen seem to have developed a friendly banter, perhaps in light of their common heritage; HaChohen had apparently correctly predicted the terms of Azoulay's victory over her Qatari opposition, and Azoulay sent him a text message shortly thereafter saying that she would need Israel's prophetic abilities in UNESCO.

Vera El-Khoury, Lebanon candidate in the race hinted that the vote was dominated by power play instead of consideration for candidates' programs.

UNESCO programs improve educational opportunities for girls, and campaign for LGBT rights and reproductive freedoms: Last year a UNESCO report called for children to receive "non-judgmental and accurate information on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression... through information campaigns and partnerships with civil society and the wider school community". She also worked for the European commission as legal expert in the fields of culture and communication.

"If I'm confirmed... the first thing I will do is to restore its credibility, restore the faith of its members and its efficiency so it can act".

Washington has walked out on UNESCO once before, in 1984, after a row over funding and alleged anti-US bias.

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.

Azoulay's nomination was based on the request of former French President Francois Hollande, yet she received great support from President Emmanuel Macron and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.