Government Official statement about an article-pamphlet on the International Prize UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Research in Life Sciences The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, under its legitimate right to reply, unfortunately must manifest once again, its disagreement and disgust regarding the article-pamphlet that appeared on May 11, 2011 under the title UNESCO: the OBIANG prize is rejected a second time (UNESCO: le Prix OBIANG est rejeté pour la deuxième fois).

20/05/2011

In fact, in its initials of Human Rights "Related Materials" and under the subtitle UNESCO: Le Prix du dictateur suspendu indefiniment (UNESCO: the prize of the dictator suspended indefinitely), Mr. Tutu Alicante, executive director of EGJustice Organization, the Association Sherpa, the Committee for the  Protection of Journalists (CPJ), Freedom House, Global Witness, Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Justice Initiative have tried, once again, to mislead the national and international public opinion on the current reality of the UNESCO/OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO International Award for Life Sciences, stating on its website www.hrw.orgon May 11 that "The OBIANG Prize is rejected a second time". 

They declare that "with this decision, the UNESCO has sent a strong signal to President Obiang and that it will not ignore the major concerns relating to human rights and governance, that in order to improve his international reputation President Obiang should concentrate his efforts on improving the life of ordinary Equatorial Guineans instead of financing symbolic prizes.

They speak of an imaginary and alleged decision of the Executive Council on May 9, 2011, in which that court refused to consider a request made on May 4 by Obiang's government to rescind its earlier decision and award the Prize immediately. They add, among other things, "that the decision taken in October 2010 was evidence in particular of the lack of consensus among Member States to establish this award,” and the Council's responsibility to preserve the integrity, values and reputation of the Organization.

They assert, moreover, that the Chairman of the Executive Council and representatives of Côte d'Ivoire, Japan and other governments that direct the Executive Council of the UNESCO invoked the decision of October 2010 "to unanimously recommend the rejection of Equatorial Guinea's request to restore the Prize" and the 58 members countries accepted the recommendation of the leaders, without question.

Mr. Tutu Alicante concludes in his opinions that "the UNESCO should go further and simply cancel the Award so that this issue does not ever arise again."

The Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, in this regard, makes the following clarifications and points:

1) It is true that the Government of Equatorial Guinea requested the inclusion of the implementation of the UNESCO/OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO International Award for Life Sciences on April 13 and May 4, 2011 in the Agenda of the Executive Council in its legitimate right as a member of UNESCO, and for the immediate implementation of the prize, since the Director General had not informed the Member States until that time of the results of the consultations recommended in Decision 185 EX/47 of October 21, 2010, which suspended the decision 180 EX/57.

What is not true is that the Executive Council has strongly rejected the request of Equatorial Guinea, since in her opening address the Chairman of the Executive Council, speaking of queries made to the Authorities of Equatorial Guinea, literally stated in the last paragraph on page 6 and the first on page 7:"The contacts and consultations that I have had allow me to hope that eventually we will be able to find a solution in line with the decision of the last meeting of the Executive Council, and without a doubt, I am ready to continue my efforts to that end”.

Also, and during the review of the Agenda points, on May 9, the Chairman of the Executive Council herself explained that "if the UNESCO/OBIANG NGUEMA MBANSOGO International Award had not been included among the points for debate in this session of the Executive Council, it  was to allow those consultations to continue."

What the declared opponents of Equatorial Guinea have not said either is that the Delegation of our Country, through the intervention of its Permanent Delegate of UNESCO in the debates insisted on the inclusion of the point UNESCO/OBIANG NGUEMA MBANSOGO International Prize for Life Sciences in the present session of the Executive Council, in order to find  a definitive solution to this issue, with the clarification that since  the Executive Council was the Authority that approved the award and its implementation in past sessions, the Executive Council should also be the one to give a definitive solution to the issue. 

With regard to other considerations made by the mentioned associations and by Mr. Tutu Alicante on human rights, quality of life for citizens of Equatorial Guinea and good governance and, apart from the fact that in Equatorial Guinea there is a civil society with its own associations and NGOs, the Government is pleased to invite once again these associations, NGOs and anyone interested in the topic to visit Equatorial Guinea in its entire territory, so they can compare, personally, the reality of our lives in situ and its deteriorated cliché of slander, prejudice and disinformation.

Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office.