Sunday, September 27, 2009

"UNESCO must reclaim science leadership"

Irina Bokova
UNESCO Chief designate

David Dickson has an excellent editorial in SciDev.Net that concludes:
Real change in science programmes, as elsewhere within the agency, will require strong and visionary leadership.

The good news from this week's election is that the final ballot, in which Bokova beat Hosni by 31 votes to 27, provided a clear outcome. A stalemate at this stage — each candidate had secured 29 votes in the previous round — could easily have undermined the authority of the eventual winner.

Less satisfactory is that, to secure her victory, Bokova is likely to have made serious commitments to those governments who eventually voted for her (she visited 45 countries in her campaign).

Accommodating these promises in a coherent and focused reform agenda will be a challenging task — but an essential one if UNESCO is to reclaim its leadership position in science and technology for development.

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