Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, head of the Foreign Ministry's Culture and UNESCO Department, has been nominated for the director-general position of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the 2017-2021 tenure.
This is the first time a Vietnam diplomat has run for an important position at the UN agency. Pham Sanh Chau was the Vietnamese ambassador to Belgium and the EU from 2011 to 2014. He had engaged in many UNESCO education, culture and heritage activities.
Mr Pham Sanh Chau
On April, 27, Mr. Pham Sanh Chau will officially enter interview for the post. On April 19th
, hours before leaving to Paris - where the interview takes place, Chau shared some word from bottom of heart to his parent about the upcoming experience via Facebook account.
“Dear Mom and Dad
Tonight, I leave for Paris, attending the interview for UNESCO director-general position. This sole and special trip is different from all the ones I had in my life. I’m proud to be the first Vietnamese in history enter a global contest, compete for the top stand in the organization so-called Brain of Humanity.
I’m ready, confident of both professional knowledge, language skill and absolutely proud. The support from boss, relatives and friends gives me strength. And I believe in my success because I’m “gemstone” of yours – Mom and Dad.
However, I need a bit of luck. Without luck, Napoleon failed in Waterloo – historic battle ending his famous career. If you really have supernatural power, give me – your little son some luck to bring glory back to homeland. A bit of luck when in draw the date and time, a bit of luck when receive interview question, just a little bit of luck. Please love me, Parent. Because this time, Vietnam’s me and I’m Vietnam.
I love you so so much. Son of you”.
As usual, each interview for post of UNESCO DJ include 2 rounds: First, candidate makes own speech and then, takes question from committee members in English or France (two language used by UNESCO Secretary Board).
The nominees are Polad Bulbuloglu (Azerbaijan), Pham Sanh Chau (Vietnam), Moushira Khattab (Egypt), Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari (Qatar), Qian Tang (China), Juan Alfonso Fuentes Soria (Guatemala), Saleh Al-Hasnawi (Iraq), Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilh (Lebanon) and Audrey Azoulay (France) are among the official candidates.
These nine candidates will be interviewed during the 201st Board session April 26-27 2017. The person to be nominated by the Executive Board shall be chosen by secret ballot, during a vote that will take place during the Board's 202nd session in October 2017. Subsequently, the Chairperson of the Board shall inform the General Conference, during its 39th session in November 2017, of the candidate nominated by the Board. The General Conference shall consider this nomination and then elect, by secret ballot, the person proposed by the Executive Board.
UNESCO, a specialized agency of the U.N., was founded in 1945. In education, it works to ensure every child, boy or girl, has access to quality education as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development. Through protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity, UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal value. It pursues scientific cooperation, such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements, to strengthen ties between nations and societies. It also strives for democracy, development and human dignity, according to UNESCO.