|Ambassador Phạm Sanh Châu, the Vietnamese candidate for the position of UNESCO Director-General. — VNA/VNS Photo|
PARIS — Việt Nam’s bid for the post of Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) showcases the country’s responsibility and wish to actively contribute to the international community, officials said today.
The statement came after Vietnamese candidate Phạm Sanh Châu failed to secure enough votes in the first round of voting in Paris on October 9.
Châu has accumulated a wealth of experience working at UNESCO. He has served as Ambassador and Head of the Permanent Mission of Việt Nam to UNESCO and is currently the Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Viet Nam on UNESCO Affairs.
This was the first time that Việt Nam entered candidate into a highly competitive race for the leading position of a major UN agency. The election campaign was a useful opportunity for the country to deepen ties with other countries, especially those with which Việt Nam already enjoys strategic and comprehensive partnerships.
Châu campaigned in more than 30 capital cities of member countries of the UNESCO Executive Board, during which he introduced Việt Nam’s history and culture, its achievements under đổi mới (economic renovation) and the potential it presents for deepening international cooperation.
Vietnamese officials also lobbied for support in meetings with foreign partners. Officials of many countries spoke highly of Việt Nam’s external policy of peace, independence and international integration, and appreciated the country’s wish to contribute more to international affairs in general and UNESCO in particular.
Việt Nam celebrated 40 years of joining UNESCO on June 15 this year. The country has been a frequent recipient of UNESCO’s support in accessing know-how and funding to preserve and promote its culture and contribute to the country’s development efforts.
In the first round of voting, the candidate from Qatar, Hammad bin Al-Kawari, received the most votes – 19 out of 58 members of the UNESCO Executive Council. He was followed by France’s candidate, Audrey Azoulay and Egypt’s Mousshira Khattab, who received 13 and 11 votes, respectively.
The Vietnamese candidate shared the bottom position with Azerbaijan’s candidate, Polad Bulbuloglu, both obtaining two votes.
Since no candidate has secured more than half the votes (30), UNESCO will hold a second round of voting later today. If no candidate obtains more than half of the votes in this round, a third and fourth round of voting will be conducted in the following days.
If the fourth round ends with no clear victor, the two candidates with the highest number of votes will continue their race in the fifth round held on the 13th to decide the winner. — VNS