New UNESCO chief pledges to promote ‘knowledge, tolerance and equal opportunity’

Irina Bokova

15 October 2009 – The new head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Agency (UNESCO) pledged today to work closely with Member States to promote societies “based on knowledge, tolerance and equal opportunity for all” after she was formally approved as Director-General.

The 193-member General Conference of UNESCO, meeting in Paris, elected Irina Bokova as head of the agency, nearly a month after she was chosen in the fifth round of voting by the Executive Board.

A former foreign minister of Bulgaria, Ms. Bokova will start work in her new role on 15 November, succeeding Koïchiro Matsuura, who is ending his second term as Director-General and is not eligible for another stint.

“I shall be guided in my work by my concept of a new humanism for the 21st century,” Ms. Bokova said today after she was elected.

“It is my dream to nurture relations of perfect synergy between the Director-General and Member States, so as to move together towards the creation of societies that are more just and prosperous, based on knowledge, tolerance and equal opportunity for all, thanks to education, science, culture and access to information.”

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Bulgarian diplomat to become first woman to head UNESCO

Related Stories