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A split vote by UNESCO’s Executive Board to approve a prize sponsored by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea puts the president’s interests above UNESCO’s basic principles of human rights and good governance. The March 8, 2012 decision by a commission of the board to change the controversial award’s name and press UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova to implement it is due to be formally adopted in a plenary session.

(Paris) – A split vote by UNESCO’s Executive Board to approve a prize sponsored by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea puts the president’s interests above UNESCO’s basic principles of human rights and good governance, seven civil society groups said today.

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