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Egypt Nominates Former Tourism and Antiquities Minister for UNESCO Director General Post

Egypt has announced the nomination of Khaled El-Anany, the former minister of tourism and antiquities, for the position of director general of UNESCO.

The election is scheduled to be held at the organization’s headquarters in Paris in 2025 and the tenure would last until 2029.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly indicated that the choice of El-Anany to run was based on his qualifications and his tangible academic and executive achievements in many fields.

He highlighted El-Anany’s valuable contributions in the fields of science, education, and culture, which are the result of more than 30 years of experience in university teaching, scientific research, Egyptology, antiquities, heritage, museums, and tourism.

The prime minister has issued directives to all relevant ministries to support El-Anany, while the nominee expressed his gratitude for the opportunity.

El-Anany, who featured in a joint press conference with Madbouly, said: “I realize the enormity of this nomination, especially in light of the responsibilities that lie with UNESCO at this stage in human history, which is facing unprecedented challenges.

“There are still tens of millions of children in the world who do not receive education, and the tangible and intangible cultural heritage and natural heritage suffer from many challenges, some of which are old and some of which are modern, such as climate change.”

El-Anany added that the world was in dire need of dialogue and understanding, and needed a climate of tolerance, the acceptance of differences, the rejection of violence, hatred, intolerance, and discrimination, and the promotion of cultural diversity.

He said: “I am honored to put my academic and executive experience in the service of the organization and its noble goals.”

Madbouly said that El-Anany’s nomination resulted from a decision by the National Committee.

El-Anany was the minister of tourism and antiquities from 2019 to 2022. He was the first minister to hold both portfolios following their separation in 1966.

He worked as a professor of Egyptology at the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management at Helwan University.

He received the Order of the Rising Sun from Japan in 2021 and the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in the previous year.

Relations between Egypt and UNESCO extend to more than 75 years, and the country was among the first to ratify its formation.

El-Anany is not the first Egyptian candidate to run for the position of UNESCO director general. Former Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny was nominated for the post in 2009, while Moushira Khattab, minister of state for family and population between 2009 and 2011, ran in 2017.

Source : Arab News