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Bulgaria Nominates UNESCO Chief Bokova For Top UN Post

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova

Bulgaria has nominated UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova for the post of United Nations secretary-general, Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry said on February 9.

Bokova's nomination for the top job at the UN, which will become vacant after Ban Ki-moon leaves at the end of the year, comes after months of speculation over whether the UN will finally get its first female leader, after the eight men who have led the world body since 1946.

"With her resume and experience, Bokova may be one of the important applications in the forthcoming campaign for UN secretary-general," the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said.

The nomination comes a day after the government announced that fellow Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva, who currently serves as a vice president of the European Commission, would not run for the UN post.

Bokova, who speaks fluent English, French, Russian, and Spanish, has served as the director-general of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 2009. Previously, she served as Bulgarian foreign minister and the country's ambassador to France and Monaco.

Slovenia nominated former President Danilo Turk for the post last week. Macedonia, Croatia, and Montenegro have also put forth candidates.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP