Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Irina Bokova will become first woman to lead UNESCO

Just last week, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) voted in Irina Bokova as the new head of the organization, The Guardian reports. Though the organization is 64 years old (according to the UNESCO website), Irina will be both the first woman and first Eastern European to lead the organization,

The opposition candidate, Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny, had been the favorite until critics pointed out Egypt's history of censorship and a comment Hosny had made about burning Israeli books that insulted Islam, the The Huffington Post reported.

Some Egyptians considered the opposition to Hosny as anti-Muslim and anti-Egyptian; others, however, blame Hosny for stifling the Egyptian cultural scene and consider him far too dictatorial (as reported by the Huffington Post)

Bokova is currently the Bulgarian foreign minister to France, and helped Bugaria enter the European Union. (Guardian reports.) Her resume is extremely impressive; she is fluent in four languages (English, Russian, Spanish, and French), and helped draft the Bulgarian constitution, among many other achievements (resume available at her personal website) She intends to get UNESCO more involved in the international talks about "hot topics" such as global warming and solving the international financial crisis (reported the Huffington Post)

photocredit: amirjina on Flickr

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