Qatar candidate reaches final round of UNESCO elections
12 Oct 2017 - 22:28
Qatar’s candidate for the post of Director-General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari (pictured) has qualified for the final round of the elections, which will be held by Unesco’s Executive Council at its 202nd session at its headquarters in Paris, France.
Qatar’s candidate qualified for the final round after gaining 22 votes in the fourth round ahead of French and Egyptian candidates, who received 18 votes each, reported QNA. The next vote will be held today between the French and Egyptian candidates to select the winner who will compete with the Qatari candidate today evening in the final round.
The candidates of China and Lebanon had announced their withdrawal ahead of the vote in the fourth round, and yesterday’s competition was held between the candidates of Qatar, France and Egypt. Dr Al Kawari topped the voting and qualified for the final round.
In the fifth round, it is not required to get 30 votes, and if the two candidates obtain the same number of votes, the drawing lots shall decide between them.
Dr Al Kawari had won the first round of elections with 19 votes. The programme of Dr Al Kawari was launched two years ago and includes a new vision to restore the Unesco’s cultural renaissance under the slogan “Towards a New Beginning for Unesco”.
The programme tackles the most important problems of the Organisation and its reform mechanisms and strengthening its role in the fields of education, culture, science, heritage, defence of freedoms and other Unesco goals.
After the winner is announced today, the General Conference will elect the Executive Board at its 39th session on November 10, with the participation of the 195 member states. The new Director-General will assume office on November 15. The 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. The 10th Director-General of the Unesco, Irina Bokova, was the first woman to occupy the post after winning the elections of 2009.
Unesco is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.
It is the successor of the League of Nations’ International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. Unesco has 195 member states and ten associate members.
Most of its field offices are “cluster” offices covering three or more countries; national and regional offices also exist. Unesco pursues its objectives through five major programme: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences, culture and communication/information.
Projects sponsored by Unesco include literacy, technical, and teacher-training programmes, international science programmes, the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press, regional and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity, translations of world literature, international cooperation agreements on secure the world cultural and natural heritage (World Heritage Sites) and to preserve human rights, and attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide. It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.
The Unesco Executive Board ensures the overall management of Unesco. It prepares the work of the General Conference and sees that its decisions are properly carried out. The functions and responsibilities of the Executive Board are derived primarily from the Constitution and from rules or directives laid down by the General Conference.
The General Conference consists of the representatives of Unesco’s Member States. It meets every two years, and is attended by Member States and Associate Members, together with observers for non-Member States, intergovernmental organisations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Each country has one vote, irrespective of its size or the extent of its contribution to the budget.