UNESCO Confirms Moroccan-French Audrey Azoulay New Head

Audrey Azoulay, a former French Minister of Moroccan origins, was confirmed as new head of the UNESCO, succeeding to Irina Bokova.

Azoulay, who is daughter of André Azoulay, Advisor to King Mohammed VI, took over the leadership of the UN’s culture organization after 195 member states voted to confirm her.

Azoulay, 45, a former French culture minister, was nominated last month by the U.N. cultural agency’s executive board.

She vowed to “overcome political divisions for the sake solely of UNESCO’s essential missions.”

She has worked in banking, but says she was formed in a professional regard by the film industry, in which she was involved as financial director, then deputy director, of the CNC (National Cinema Center), the guardian of French film production.

She has also served as rapporteur to France’s public auditing authority, the Cour des comptes, and as a European Commission legislative expert on issues of culture and the media.

In a statement to the Moroccan news agency, Azoulay highlighted her ties to Morocco, which she described as a country that symbolizes the values of diversity dear to the UNESCO.

She told the media, on the sidelines of the homage ceremony held for outgoing UNESCO director general Irina Bokova, that “Morocco is a country of diversity and plural culture, it is enshrined even in its constitution.” “I personally think that these values helped me to be where I am now.”

She paid tribute to Bokova, saying that she led the body with resolve and commitment, giving the example of her action in favor of restoring Mali’s heritage.
UNESCO goodwill ambassador Princess Lalla Meryem, the Moroccan king’s eldest sister, attended the ceremony in Paris where Bokova reviewed her contributions to achieve UNESCO’s goals. Bokova also recalled the visit that she paid last May to Fez, where she took part in the ceremony of presenting the revamp program for old medersas (schools), chaired by King Mohammed VI.

 

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