Irina Bokova nominated by UNESCO Executive Board for the post of Director-General

Irina Bokova

Irina Bokova

The 58 members of UNESCO’s Executive Board on 04 October nominated Irina Bokova (Bulgaria) for the position of Director-General.

There were three candidates: incumbent Irina Bokova (Bulgaria), Rachad Farah (Djibouti) and Joseph Maïla (Lebanon).

After the first round of voting today, the Board’s Chairperson, Ambassador Alissandra Cummins (Barbados), announced the outcome of the vote. “Having obtained a majority of votes recorded,” she said “Ms Irina Bokova has been nominated for a second term as Director-General of UNESCO. I am delighted to extend my congratulations to Ms Bokova and also to extend my appreciation to the other candidates.”

Update: La Figaro reports that Bokova received 39 votes, while Rachad Farah secured 13 and Joseph Maila received 6.

On 12 November, the nomination will be submitted for approval to the General Conference, which brings together representatives of the Organization’s 195 Member States.

Irina Bokova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1952. She was first elected UNESCO Director-General in October 2009, and is the first woman to have held the post. Prior to October 2009, Ms Bokova served as Bulgaria’s Ambassador to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. A career diplomat and member of the Parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria, she has served as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Le Figaro reports that Irina Bokova received 39 votes, Rachad Farah received 13 and Joseph Maila received 6. Several people have confirmed to me that Ms. Bokova did indeed receive 39 votes from the 58 members of the Executive Board.

History indicates that the General Conference will confirm the judgment of the Executive Board and that Ms. Bokova will serve an additional term as Director General of UNESCO.

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About John Daly

John Daly is the former director of the USAID Office of Research and instructor at George Washington University on UNESCO. His professional background is in promoting the capacity for science and technology in developing nations, especially the applications of information and communications technology. He served as the acting Work Program Administrator of infoDev, and has been a consultant with the RAND Corporation, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and on the Research and Training Network of the Development Gateway. He served as Vice President of Americans for UNESCO from 2005-2012.