Islamic Nations Try Again to Take Helm of U.N. Culture Agency

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova

( – Unsuccessful in its previous attempt to install a Muslim as head of the U.N’s cultural agency, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) now is putting up a rival candidate in an effort to deny the current director-general a second term.

A meeting of OIC foreign ministers in Djibouti earlier this month agreed to back the candidacy of a Djibouti diplomat, Rashad Farah, for director-general of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The election will be held late next year.

UNESCO has long been a political battleground, both during the Cold War when it was seen by critics as a hotbed of pro-Soviet and anti-Western sentiment, and in more recent years when Islamic states and their allies have sought to use it in campaigns against Israel and “Islamophobia.”


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