Keyword: Unesco

The bitter infighting behind the election of UNESCO's new director general

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Audrey Azouley at UNESCO's Paris headquarters, October 13th 2017. © Reuters Audrey Azouley at UNESCO's Paris headquarters, October 13th 2017. © Reuters

Former French culture minister Audrey Azoulay was elected as the new director general of UNESCO on Friday, in a narrow victory over her Qatari rival Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari. Azoulay’s election to the top post at the UN science, education and culture agency was the result of a profound divide among its Arab member states, and served a severe blow to Qatar’s ambitions of influence on the world stage. René Backmann witnessed first-hand the tensions during the six rounds of voting, which at one point almost ended in a fist fight, and in this report of the events he analyses the tough tasks ahead for Azoulay amid the decision by the US and Israel to quit the organisation.

US to end active membership of Paris-based UNESCO

The US has said it is to withdraw its membership of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization based in Paris, effective in December 2018, in protest at what it called 'anti-Israeli bias', the announcement coming just days before the body elects a new secretary general, with Qatar's Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari tipped as favourite to win the vote.

Le Corbusier buildings given UNESCO world heritage status

The now protected creations by the late 20th-century architect of dual Swiss and French nationality are sited in France and six other countries.

French FM rejects Netanyahu claims of bias

Israeli PM said France's initiative for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks was overshadowed by support Paris gave to Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.

France's Mont-Saint-Michel recovers its island status

President François Hollande has inaugurated a bridge that restores the status of the famous site on France’s northern coast as an island.

Corks pop in France as Champagne and Burgundy win UNESCO status

Two of France's top wine-producing areas have been officially classified as sites of special cultural or natural significance.

Hollande wins Unesco peace prize for Mali intervention

French presidsent was awarded the annual Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize by Unesco for his decision to send troops to Mali in January.

France's slag heaps join list of UNESCO world treasures

Slag heaps in northern mining region have become the latest addition to world heritage list, rivalling global wonders like the Taj Mahal.

Palestinians become full member of UNESCO

The Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has voted for a Palestinian bid to become one of its full members.

Rama Yade, a loose cannon disarmed

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 © Francois Lenoir/Reuters © Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Rama Yade (pictured, left) is a young, gifted and black French politician who rose from a relative nowhere to become one of France's most popular public figures. A protégé of Nicolas Sarkozy, she served three years in government before her outspokenness and disobedience of the president saw her fired in last November's government reshuffle. But this loose cannon has been quickly disarmed; she's just accepted the post of permanent French ambassador to UNESCO. In this interview with Mediapart, we ask her whether she's become another example of an ex-minister joining the gravy train.