185th Executive Board
U.S. Mission Plays Key Role in Obiang Prize Solution
One of the key decisions taken at the October 2010 session of UNESCO’s Executive Board was to suspend implementation of the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences, and continue further consultations regarding the prize until a consensus can be reached among all concerned parties.
All parties recognize that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find consensus on any decision to award the contentious prize. Ambassador Killion was instrumental in negotiating this result, and was supported by a large number of countries, NGOs and influential African opinion leaders, all of whom shared U.S. concerns about UNESCO’s integrity, values, and reputation being put at risk with the Organization’s affiliation with a prize named after the controversial leader of Equatorial Guinea.
In addition, UNESCO also adopted new, more stringent rules regarding the naming of prizes after individuals in order to ensure that any such prizes are in keeping with the core values of the organization.