In an interview with Hadashot news, former UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said that she hopes that Israel and the US decide to return to the organization. She also claimed that she worked to soften the wording of the anti-Israel resolutions that were adopted during her time as the head of the UN agency.

UNESCO headquarters in Paris

UNESCO headquarters in Paris Photo Credit: Serge Attal/Flash 90

Former UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova claimed in a recent interview with Hadashot news that she worked to soften resolutions that were perceived as anti-Israeli and stressed that she does not consider the passing of the resolutions a personal failure.

“Maybe I took some risk, I have to say, when I had to appeal to member states to come back to the, I would say, understanding about [the] importance of this for everybody—for the three religions,” she explained, referencing the resolutions dealing with the holy sites in Jerusalem. “I think there was an improvement of the language after I published this statement.”

Apparently alluding to the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, the Bulgarian politician told Hadashot news’ Arad Nir with a smile: “You meet history [in the City of David]…I think I was right in my statements.”

When asked about the American and Israeli decisions to leave the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Bokova said that she hopes that the two countries will return. “I deeply regret it. I have said it on many occasions,” she stated. “I hope that both Israel and [the] United States will come back to the organization.”