Press release

Audrey Azoulay re-elected at the head of UNESCO with massive support

09/11/2021

Audrey Azoulay was re-elected Tuesday to the post of Director-General of UNESCO with the massive support of the Organization’s 193 Member States.

Ms Azoulay’s re-election took place in a spirit of consensus with the overwhelming backing of UNESCO Member States, obtaining 155 votes out of a total of 169 ballots cast.

I see this result as a sign of regained unity within our Organization. Over the last four years, we have been able to restore confidence in UNESCO, and in some respects this has also been about restoring UNESCO’s confidence in itself. We regained serenity by reducing the political tensions that stood in our way and by looking for common positions on subjects that were divisive in the past. We were then able to develop a shared ambition, notably by reconnecting with the tradition of leading major operations in the field.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

Over the past four years, UNESCO has undergone a significant modernization process to improve the efficiency of its actions. The Organization notably embarked on the reconstruction of the old city of Mosul (Iraq), launched in 2018 and currently underway. 

Since the tragic double explosion in the port of Beirut in August 2020, UNESCO has rebuilt close to 90 schools in the Lebanese capital where it is also pursuing activities in the fields of heritage and culture.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, while hundreds of millions of children and adolescents were deprived of their right to learn, UNESCO once again proved its ability to step in, establishing the Global Education Coalition which made it possible to ensure educational continuity in 112 countries.

This new momentum has led to a consolidation of UNESCO’s budget. On the twin pillars of national and voluntary contributions, funding for 2020-21 totalled US$1.4 billion. Voluntary contributions increased by 50% over the 2017-2021 period, compared to the previous four years.

 

Media contact: Matthieu Lamarre, m.lamarre@unesco.org