Sunday, September 27, 2009

The NYT Editorial is Right On!

I quote extensively from today's editorial titled "The Right Head for UNESCO":
The race was beset by controversy and the voting went to five rounds. But Unesco made the right choice Tuesday night in selecting Irina Bokova, a Bulgarian diplomat, as its new director general. She will be the first woman and the first eastern European to head up the United Nations agency, which is meant to promote culture, architectural protection, education, press freedom and other issues around the world.......

We believe that she was the right choice. She played an active role in Bulgaria’s political transformation from Soviet satellite to European Union member. That should be a strong asset in leading an organization badly buffeted in the past by ideological storms. In her long career as a diplomat, including a brief stint as foreign minister and her current position as Bulgaria’s ambassador to France and its representative at Unesco, she has demonstrated a quiet and effective professionalism.

Unesco is one of the U.N.’s most prominent and influential agencies, yet its ideological forays and mismanagement in the 1970s and 1980s led the United States and Britain to withdraw. Both have since returned. Unesco has an important role to play. Ms. Bokova seems well qualified to lead it.


John Daly said...

Rania Al Malky in Daily News Egypt writes "no matter where you stand on the political spectrum, you must admit that the Egyptian administration did not deserve to win this bid. How can a 22-year minister of a country where culture, education, health and science have regressed to the dark ages become head of the UNESCO?"

Anonymous said...

Well, it is somewhat paradoxical that the US moved heaven and earth to unseat an earlier Director General (M'Bow) and left the organisation because of his agenda for a "New International Communication Order" that would purportedly have brought the international and domestic media under tighter government control, and yet now has been instrumental in bringing into the very same office the daughter of the Bulgarian communist régime's chief ideologue, don't you think? And while one cannot automatically deduce that the sins of the father can be visited on the daughter, the reaction from the Bulgarian anti-communist dissidents and inmates of Sofia's gulags shows that they are in a state of uproar that she has been elected. Trojanov's article should be compulsory reading for anyone in the State Department or the Unesco Board or the NYT who thinks they've just elected Bulgaria's answer to Vaclav Havel and Lech Walesa. And can we have some leeway on the censorhip here , Mr Daly, since rather a lot of comment is struggling to get past your iron-clad fist?!