Irina Bokova

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John Kelly, the White House chief-of-staff, said that US president Donald Trump  was “deep in thought, to say the least, about the way ahead in Iran”. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

US president Donald Trump will announce his decision on the Iran nuclear deal on Friday as the president comes under mounting pressure not to abandon (...)

A pile of rubble where explosives from Islamic State  levelled the stone walls and most of the Roman columns at the city gate of Palmyra, Syria. Photograph: Bryan Denton/The New York Times

Unesco was created in 1945 to foster a spirit of collaboration between nations. The preamble to its Constitution reads: “Since wars begin in the minds(...)

 Head of Unesco Irina Bokova   and Bulgarian EU commissioner Kristalina Georgieva  who has replaced Ms Bokova as the country’s candidate to succeed Ban Ki-moon as secretary general of the United Nations. Photograph: Kena Betancur,Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

The race to succeed Ban Ki-moon as secretary general of the United Nations took a fresh turn on Wednesday as Bulgaria nominated European Union commiss(...)

Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres has cemented his front-runner status to head the UN. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres has cemented his position as front runner to become the next UN secretary general after the latest s(...)

The decision on Ban Ki-moon’s  successor is expected to be made by the end of September. Photograph: Getty Images

Of global figureheads, perhaps only the pope or the president of China is selected in as mysterious a manner as the secretary general of the United Na(...)

Former New Zealand prime minister, Helen Clark looking on during a forum of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at the OECD headquarter in Paris, France. Ms Clark, the current administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will run for the position of UN secretary-general in the 2016 election. Photograph: Caroline Blumberg/EPA

Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark will run for secretary-general of the United Nations, the world’s top diplomatic post. Ms Clark, (66), (...)

 Syrian president Bashar Assad told western governments: “If you are worried [about refugees], stop supporting terrorists.”   Photograph: Vahid Salemi/AP

The Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has blamed the Syrian refugee crisis facing Europe on the West’s financial and military backing for armed oppon(...)

The temple of Baal Shamin in the historical city of Palmyra, which was destroyed by Islamic State.  Photograph: Reuters/Stringer

Islamic State militants have razed a fifth-5th century Roman Catholic monastery and blown up one of the best-preserved first-1st century temples in Pa(...)

Khaled al-Assaad,  the  retired chief archaeologist of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, who was beheaded in a public square on Tuesday by the Islamic State terror group. Photograph: Syrian Arab News Agency/AFP/Getty Images

For decades, he was the bespectacled caretaker of some of Syria’s greatest archaeological treasures. He explored the sprawling ruins in his home town,(...)

Japan’s Taro Aso and South Korea’s Choi Kyung-Hwan: with China they are in dispute over second World War memories. Photograph: Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

East Asia’s three leading powers have long sparred over how to remember the first half of the 20th century. Now, as the 70th anniversary of Japan’s su(...)

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