Irina Bokova is elected Director-General of UNESCO

Irina Bokova of Bulgaria is elected Director-General of UNESCO, the first woman and first Eastern European to fill the role.

Irina Gueorguieva Bokova

Irina Gueorguieva Bokova

She defeated nine candidates at the election in Paris, with Farouk Hosny ultimately being defeated by 31-27 in the fifth and last round of voting. Hosny had been expected to win but attracted criticism from figures such as Nobel Peace laureate Elie Wiesel over his views on antisemitism.

She takes over the position from Koïchiro Matsuura of Japan. She will serve in this office for a four-year period. Bokova is both the first woman and the first Eastern European to take this role.

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