Friday, 03 December 2021 18:11

Paris : France’s Audrey Azoulay Selected as next UNESCO Head

Monday, 16 October 2017


UNESCO executives chose Audrey Azoulay of France as the next head of the United Nations' cultural agency on Friday 13 October 2017, to replace outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova.

The board's pick will now go to the UNESCO general assembly for final approval next month.

Ms Azoulay, 45, a former French culture minister, was one of three finalists selected to stand, narrowed from a field of seven candidates at the beginning of last week. The finalists also included Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari, Qatar's former culture minister, and former Egyptian government minister Moushira Khattab.

The French former minister, Ms Azoulay was promoted by France as a candidate who could "overcome political divisions for the sake solely of UNESCO's essential missions." She has worked in banking, but says she was formed in a professional regard by the film industry, in which she was involved as financial director, then deputy director, of the CNC (National Cinema Center), the guardian of French film production.

She was French culture minister from February 2016 to May 2017 under former President Francois Hollande, among other things securing a budget increase for her ministry after years of reductions.

Following the announcement of her election, she said the appropriate response to UNESCO's problems was to carry out reform, not to leave — a reference to this week's decision by the US and Israel to quit the agency.

With MAP


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