Unesco election illustrates dysfunctions
18 Oct 2017 - 1:20
The election at the head of Unesco finally ended with a victory of the French Audrey Azoulay. Despite the satisfaction of seeing a woman once again appointed as the head of the organization, this election has above all illustrated the dysfunctions of an international order whose renewal is now an urgent matter.
Initially, they were eight. From Guatemala to Viet Nam through China and Lebanon, eight countries dreamed of having their representative occupy the coveted post of Director-General of Unesco. Nevertheless, if some people knew that their approach had no chance of success, the opposite was true for the contenders of the Arab countries. For according to the custom of “geographical rotation”, the function of patron of the institution located at Place de Fontenoy in the VIIth arrondissement in Paris was this time to fall, for the first time since 1945, to a Mashreq diplomat.
Of the three representatives of the Arab world (Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt), it was certainly the Qatari candidate Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari (pictured) who held the rope. Of course, the candidates from Lebanon and Egypt were not lacking in arguments, but the weakness of the network for the first and the lamentable state of the political situation of the country of the second obeyed their prospects for success.
The representative of the Cedar country was one of the last in the first round, and although the Cairo postulant was able to reach the podium, she was beaten in the semi finals by her French competitor. All eyes and prognoses soon turned to H E Dr Hamad Al-Kuwari. Doctor of Political Science at Stony Brook University in New York, the 69-year-old has extensive experience in the field of multilateral diplomacy.
Ambassador of Qatar successively in Syria, France and United States, the diplomat knows well the universe UN, passing six years like delegate of his country to the UN and even occupying the position of vice-president of the General Assembly in the 1980s. But it is above all its dynamism in favor of culture over the last two decades which naturally motivated it to run for the head of the world organization in charge of education, science and culture.