PARIS, FRANCE.-At today’s opening plenary of the 172nd session, the Executive Board considered the nomination of the Director-General as well as the candidature for President of the 33rd General Conference of UNESCO. In an extensive interview session, the only candidate, the incumbent Director-General, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, was nominated. A “Question & Answer” session was conducted between Mr Matsuura and the 58 Board Members. Delegates of the other 133 Member States were able to follow the proceedings through video transmission. Thereafter, the Board voted by secret ballot, with the following result: 56 valid votes were cast. 55 in favour, one against.
Congratulating the nominee on this overwhelming outcome, Ambassador Wrede declared: “This is, indeed, a resounding vote of confidence, Mr Matsuura. Our best wishes to you for the next four years in office. At a time of perilous turmoil in the world, this Organization needs leadership, coupled with experience, wisdom and determination. We are confident you will provide this to our Organization.”
Upon his election, Mr Matsuura stated: “I thank all the Member States who demonstrated to me, once again, their support. This creates for me new obligations, which I am ready to take up with enthusiasm. The performance of UNESCO over the next few years will shape the judgement that will be passed on the capacity of the United Nations system to rise to the expectations of the international community.”
In addition, the Board deliberated the candidature for President of the 33rd General Conference. The Board endorsed – by acclamation – to recommend Ambassador Musa Bin Jafaar Bin Hassan, Permanent Delegate of the Sultanate of Oman to UNESCO, for this high position.