Moshira Khattab - Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons Moshira Khattab - Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons

UNESCO should leave politics to United Nations: Moushira Khattab

Sun, Oct. 8, 2017
CAIRO: 8 October 2017: Egypt and Africa’s nominee for the UNESCO Director General post, Moushira Khattab, said that the organization pays a heavy tax by politicization, while it is a U.N. agency for education, heritage and science.

"UNESCO should leave politics to the United Nations, but we will not go back in terms of the decisions taken," Khattab stated in an interview with the French Le Point Magazine.

Khattab noted that she looks forward to building consensus among countries to move forward together, and she hopes that the U.N. will work in the health and education sectors in Palestine like anywhere else.

She praised the good cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis in UNESCO programs.

"It is clear that we will not politicize the organization in a few days, but we can help in gradually restoring confidence in UNESCO," she said. "We have to be close to people in our mission."
She stressed that the world is suffering from extremism and terrorism, and that UNESCO alone is capable of defeating them, because terrorism will not be eliminated by weapons, but by education.

Khattab stated that introducing a French candidate for the UNESCO post is incomprehensible, adding that it is not a good thing for France, as it is the country headquarters for UNESCO.

There have been tacit agreements since 15 years ago that France will not introduce candidates for the UNESCO post and that the post would be assigned to Arab states, which have never assumed the post, Khattab said.

France is a friend to the Arab states and enjoys a distinguished relationship with Egypt, so we do not understand its stance, she added.

“Who is better nowadays than an Arab, Muslim woman with the required qualifications to speak out about all aspects of extremism?” Khattab questioned.

Egypt has enjoyed peace in the Middle East region for 40 years and could negotiate with both Israeli and Palestinian sides, she added.

Le Point considered Khattab one of the favorite nominees for the UNESCO post, describing her as a vibrant and optimistic lady.
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