Monday, March 23, 2009
Source: "Sexo e intriga en UNESCO (I)," Jorge Asís, Internacionales, March 8, 2009.
A new UNESCO Director General is to be elected in October, and Jorge Asis has provided an analysis of the state of the election in a Spanish language OP/Ed piece. He notes that in the spirit of geographical rotation of the post, given that the last three DGs were African, European and Asian, it is likely to be the turn of the Islamic peoples. Farouk Hosny, an artist an long time Minister of Culture of Egypt, is a leading contender. Morocco and Oman have apparently chosen to withdraw their nominees.
Asis suggests that two candidates from former Communist countries, Bulgaria and Lithuania, are in consideration but are less likely to be elected. He also notes the possibility of Marcio Barbosa, a Brazilian who is currently Deputy DG, but predicts that Barbosa may not obtain the full support of the Brazilian government that would be needed for his election.
Hosny is controversial in part for past anti-Israeli statements, especially unfortunate in the context of UNESCO's emphasis of dialog among cultures. Asis also suggests that while Hosny has strong support for the wife of Egyptian President Moubarak, his personal style may detract from the support he obtains from other Islamic nations.