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October 2, 2011
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You can help block the UNESCO-Obiang prize by contacting the heads of government of key African countries that sit on the governing board of UNESCO.

UNESCO Campaign: Tell African Leaders to Stand Up for Universal Principles, Not Undeserved Prizes

The United Nations Economic, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has a mandate to promote human rights and press freedom, but the president of Equatorial Guinea wants to use it instead to promote his image.

You can help block the UNESCO-Obiang prize by contacting the heads of government of key African countries that sit on UNESCO's governing board.Their contact details are below.

Tell them that the world is watching and that a decision to approve a prize honoring President Obiang would be heavily criticized.

Background:

The UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences was indefinitely suspended last year after a global campaign led by civil society groups. The future of the prize is due to be reconsidered by the governing executive board of UNESCO, which is meeting in Paris, at the initiative of African countries. 

On September 29, a day before the board was scheduled to discuss the matter, French authorities seized 11 luxury cars from outside President Obiang’s Paris residence in connection with a criminal inquiry into allegations of unjust enrichment. This development, as well as appeals from distinguished global leaders, such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and author Chinua Achebe, influenced UNESCO’s 58-member board to temporarily defer a decision on the proposal of the African members to allow additional time for negotiations.

On Friday, UNESCO's Drector General Irina Bokova made a direct appeal to President Obiang to withdraw the prize. In an address to UNESCO's executive board, she stated that "I don't think this organization should wage a war against the scientific community," which has publicly spoken out against the prize.

But, under pressure from Equatorial Guinea, the African group says it is unwilling to back down. As the head of the African group in UNESCO told the Associated Press, African diplomats in Paris feel trapped because African leaders nominally approved a resolution in favor of the prize at an African Union summit that President Obiang hosted in June as the current rotating chair of that organization. From what we understand, the resolution was adopted without any consideration or debate. It should not be a basis for ignoring the noble principles that the African Union and UNESCO seek to advance. Countries representing UNESCO's Arab bloc, including Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco, also serve on the board, and should be reminded that supporting this prize would not reflect the popular sentiments expressed in the Arab Spring.

Below are the contact details for governments that represent the African and Arab blocs on UNESCO's executive board, the governing body that will resume discussions on the prize on Monday, October 4. We urge you to contact them immediately.

 

Contact Information for Key Governments:

Burkina Faso:

Click here to send an email directly to Prime Minister Luc Adolphe Tiao.

Click here to send an email directly to President Blaise Compaoré, send a quick letter using our template by clicking here,  or you can send his office a personalized message to this email address: info@presidence.bf.

Post a comment on President Blaise Compaoré Facebook page.

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: dl.burkina-faso@unesco-delegations.org.

 

Cote d’Ivoire:

Post a comment on the country's Facebook page. 

Post a comment on President Alassane Ouattara's Facebook page.

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: dl.cote-d-ivoire@unesco-delegations.org.

 

Democratic Republic of Congo:

Post a comment on President Joseph Kabila Kabange's Facebook page.

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: dl.congo-democratic-republic@unesco-delegations.org.

 

Egypt:

To send a quick letter to the Prime Minister using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: pm@cabinet.gov.eg

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: dl.egypt@unesco-delegations.org.

 

Ghana:

Post a comment on the government's Facebook page.

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: dl.Ghana@unesco-delegations.org.

 

Kenya:

Post a comment on the government's Facebook page. 

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: dl.kenya@unesco-delegations.org.

 

Morocco:

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: dl.maroc@unesco-delegations.org.

 

Niger:

To send a quick letter to the President using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: presidence@gouv.ne

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: dl.niger@unesco-delegations.org.

 

Republic of Congo:

Tweet a message to the government's Twitter account: @CongoSiteMaster.

Post a comment on the government's Facebook page.

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to either of these email addresses: dl.congo-democratic-republic@unesco-delegations.org and nsambijoseph@yahoo.fr.

 

Senegal:

Click here to send an email directly to the government of Senegal.

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: dl.senegal@unesco-delegations.org.

 

Tanzania:

To send a quick letter to the Prime Minister using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: ps@pmo.go.tz

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: ambtanzanie@wanadoo.fr.

 

Tunisia:

To send a quick letter to the Prime Minister using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: boc@pm.gov.tn

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: dl.tunisie@unesco-delegations.org.

 

Zambia:

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: zambiansparis@wanadoo.fr.

 

Zimbabwe:

To send a quick letter to the country's delegate to UNESCO using our template, click here. Or you can send a personalized message to this email address: zimparisweb@wanadoo.fr.

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