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Pakistan Secures Vice Chair Post at UNESCO, Defeating India by 10 Votes

In a recent election held at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) executive board, Pakistan emerged victorious over India, securing the position of Vice Chair. The results, which were disclosed on November 24, revealed that Pakistan’s candidate received an overwhelming 38 votes, while India’s candidate trailed behind with 18 votes.

Expressing gratitude for the support, Pakistan’s foreign ministry conveyed, “Pakistan has been elected, with overwhelming support, as Vice Chair of UNESCO Executive Board (term 2023-25) from the Asia Pacific Group at the ExB Session.” The ministry emphasized its commitment to cooperative multilateralism and expressed eagerness to collaborate with all members to promote common objectives and defend shared values and UNESCO principles.

The election outcome marked a significant setback for Indian diplomats at the UN, as Pakistan clinched the coveted role. The Ministry of External Affairs and Human Resource Development in India, responsible for managing UNESCO in the Indian government and appointing the Indian representative in Paris, is reportedly reviewing the factors and implications of this defeat.

Vishal Sharma, India’s representative at UNESCO and a political appointee, faced inquiries about the reasons behind India’s less-than-stellar performance in the election. The election took place during UNESCO’s 218th session in Paris, where the executive board, consisting of 58 member states and holding a four-year term, administers the organization and appoints its director-general.

The UN Executive Board, alongside the 194-member General Conference and the Secretariat, constitutes one of UNESCO’s three constitutional organs. The role of Vice-Chairpersons, of which there are six from each electoral group, becomes crucial in the absence of the Chairperson during a session. They take turns exercising the Chairperson’s functions, which include directing discussions, ensuring adherence to rules of procedure, and managing the right to speak.

As both Pakistan and India navigate the aftermath of this election, the implications for their roles within UNESCO and the broader diplomatic landscape remain to be seen.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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