Egypt's former minister Moshira Khattab to make bid for top UNESCO job

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Jul 2016

Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry confirmed that African countries will support Ambassador Khattab's bid for UNESCO director general

Egypt's former minister Moshira Khattab (Al-Ahram)

Egypt officially nominated Tuesday evening former minister of family and population Moshira Khattab for the position of Director General of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), MENA news agency reported.

The announcement was made at the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo during the cultural dialogue event Egypt, UNESCO and International Cultural Issues attended by prime minister Sherif Ismail and foreign minister Sameh Shoukry as well other ministers and prominent figures in Egyptian society.

In statements to the media, Shoukry revealed that African countries have agreed to support the Egyptian candidate in her bid to become the next UNSECO Director General when Irina Bokova's term ends next year.  

A former ambassador and minister, Moshira Khattab graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University in 1967.

She joined the ministry of foreign affairs to start her diplomatic career in 1968 before becoming Egypt's ambassador in Czechoslovakia from 1990 to 1995 and later Egypt's ambassador in South Africa from 1995 to 1999.

Moshira Khattab then became an aide to the foreign minister.

In 2002, she was appointed as the secretary general of the National Council for Childhood & Motherhood and in 2010 she was appointed to the short-lived ministry of family and population.

The former ambassador is not the first Egyptian to run for the UNESCO's position. In 2009, Egypt nominated former minister of culture Farouk Hosni to the position but failed due to previous statements about Israeli books that sparked accusations of anti-semitism. 

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