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China Supports UNESCO Head for UN Secretary General Position

China Supports UNESCO Head for UN Secretary General Position

UNESCO Head Irina Bokova UNESCO Head Irina Bokova(UNESCO)
ByMei Manuel September 22, 2016
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With UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to end his term at the end of the year, China has selected Irina Bokova, the current head of the United Nation Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to replace him.

According to Yang Zewei of Wuhan University, Beijing would support Bokova because of her credibility and integrity. Yang said "Her strength is not confined to her gender or origin. Her experience in leading UNESCO, an international organization not a nation, gives her more neutrality and credibility."

Yang also adds that Bokova has proven her impartiality at UNESCO and has been known to seek dialogue to seek the resolution of conflicts amongst multiple stakeholders. He also added that Bokova is a reliable leader and will not be seen as someone who will take sides when it comes to conflicts or influencing the interests of any nation. She is also perfect for the position given her relations with both the US and Russia.

UN Sec-Gen Ban has been hoping for the UN to elect a female secretary-general after eight males have served in the position over seven decades. There has also been no leader from Eastern Europe who has been selected to head the organization. He has not expressed support for any candidate; however, he said that there are a lot of qualified women who can possibly head the UN.

"There are many distinguished, motivated women leaders who can really change this world, who can actively engage with the other leaders of the world," he said.

Currently, there are five female candidates aiming for the position aside from Bokova, who hails from Bulgaria and they are Helen Clark from New Zealand; Natalia Gherman from Moldova; Christiana Figueres from Costa Rica; and Susan Malcorra from Argentina.

Bokova is the first female and first Eastern European head of UNESCO. She studied at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1979, where she also received her master's degree. She also supported her academic expertise at Harvard and other US universities. According to professor and Centre for United Nations Studies at Fudan University Zhang Guihong said that both UNESCO and Beijing have enjoyed good ties under her leadership and if she is to head the UN, Beijing will have no problems cooperating with a leader they could work with easily.

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