Cairo – Egypt has announced the nomination of Khaled El-Anany, the former tourism and antiquities minister, for the role of UNESCO director general.
The election will take place in 2025 at the organisation’s headquarters in Paris, and the term will extend until 2029.
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly stated that El-Anany was chosen to run because of his qualifications and substantial academic and executive achievements in a variety of disciplines.
He emphasised El-Anany’s significant contributions to science, education, and culture, which stem from his more than 30 years of experience in university teaching, scientific research, Egyptology, antiquities, heritage, museums, and tourism.
The prime minister has directed that all relevant ministries endorse El-Anany, and the nominee has expressed his appreciation for the opportunity.
“I realise the enormity of this nomination, especially in light of the responsibilities that lie with UNESCO at this stage in human history, which is facing unprecedented challenges,” El-Anany remarked at a joint press conference with Madbouly.
“There are still tens of millions of children worldwide who are not educated, and tangible and intangible cultural and natural heritage face numerous challenges, some of which are ancient and some of which are modern, such as climate change.”
El-Anany went on to say that the world desperately needed conversation and understanding, as well as an atmosphere of tolerance, acceptance of differences, condemnation of violence, bigotry, intolerance, and discrimination, and promotion of cultural variety.
“I am honoured to put my academic and executive experience to work for the organisation and its noble goals,” he said.
El-Anany’s nomination, according to Madbouly, was the outcome of a National Committee decision.
From 2019 to 2022, El-Anany served as Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. Following their separation in 1966, he was the first minister to handle both responsibilities.
He was an Egyptology professor at Helwan University’s Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management.
In 2021, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by Japan, and the Order of Merit by the Republic of Poland the year before.
Egypt’s relationship with UNESCO dates back more than 75 years, and the country was among the first to recognise its establishment.
El-Anany is not the first Egyptian to run for the office of Director General of UNESCO. Farouk Hosny, former Egyptian Culture Minister, was nominated for the position in 2009, while Moushira Khattab, minister of state for family and population from 2009 to 2011, ran in 2017.