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UNESCO Confirms France's Azoulay as New Chief

UNESCO Confirms France's Azoulay as New Chief

Friday, 10 November, 2017 - 12:45
New UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay. Thomas Samson / AFP

UNESCO's member states voted on Friday to confirm the nomination of former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay as the body's new director general.

The agency's general conference, which includes all 195 members, formally approved Azoulay's four-year term.

The vote was 131 in favor to 19 opposed to the nomination by the agency's board last month of 45-year-old Azoulay.

The new director general hopes to restore the international standing of the Paris-based organization that has been mired in financial woes since the United States withdrew its sizable funding in 2011. It's also reeling from last month's decision by the Trump administration to pull out of UNESCO because of its alleged anti-Israel bias.

She also faces the daunting job of reforming the agency struggling under the weight of a bureaucracy that has become unwieldy over the seven decades since it was founded.

Azoulay, who becomes UNESCO's second woman director general, will set priorities for the organization's World Heritage program that protects cultural sites and traditions.

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