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Paris - UNESCO's 58-member Executive Board - whose 157th session opened on October 5 - today nominated, in the third round of voting, Koichiro Matsuura as its candidate for the post of UNESCO Director-General, to replace the present Director General Federico Mayor at the end of his second 6-year mandate.
Mr Matsuura's candidacy will be submitted to the approval of UNESCO's General Conference on November 12.
Born in 1937 in Tokyo, Koichiro Matsuura trained in law (Faculty of Law, Tokyo University) and economics (Haverford College, U.S.A.). He began his career at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1959, where he has served as Director-General of the Economic Cooperation Bureau (1988), Director-General of the North American Affairs Bureau (1990), Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs (1992-94) and Ambassador to France, Andorra and Djibouti, since 1994. He presently chairs UNESCO's World Heritage Committee. Mr Matsuura has published six books on Japanese diplomacy, economics, and on relations between Japan and France and Japan and the United States.
UNESCO's Executive Board, chaired by Christopher J Chetsanga (Zimbabwe), chose Mr Matsuura from among 11 candidates, following interviews with each of them on October 13.
If UNESCO's General Conference does not approve the candidate chosen by the Executive Board in its secret ballot November 12, the Board must choose another candidate within 48 hours.
The eleven contenders for the post were: Ghazi Algosaibi, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Senake Bandaranayake, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France; Ion Caramitru, Romania's Minister of Culture; Lawrence Carrington, former representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the Executive Board; Gareth Evans, former Foreign Affairs Minister of Australia; Daniel Janicot (France), Assistant Director-General for the Directorate of UNESCO; Rosario Manalo, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines; Makaminan Makagiansar, representative of Indonesia to the Executive Board; Koichiro Matsuura, Japan's Ambassador to France; P l Pataki (Hungary), former Chairperson of the Executive Board; Ismail Serageldin (Egypt), Vice-President of the World Bank.