Normally, awarding a prize of $3 million to reward people for research and work that improves the quality of human life would be heralded as a great thing. However, the prize that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is supporting isn’t drawing the plaudits you might expect it to.
That’s because it is funded by the director of the oil-rich West African country of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, who presides over an appalling record of human rights violations and corruption.
Equatorial Guinea has seen rising economic prosperity due to growing oil revenues. However, an increase in government revenue hasn’t led to a similar rise in living standards. This is due in large part to the corruption taking place in the country – a fact reflected in Equatorial Guinea’s position (168th out of 180) in the corruption index.
The actions of Teodoro Obiang contradict and seriously undermine what UNESCO stands for, and the good work that it is doing all over the world. Continued support of this prize also sends the wrong message to leaders in a similar position to Obiang, suggesting that they can get away with poor records in their countries if they support such initiatives
This is a really important opportunity to make a stand against corruption, human rights violations and the dictators who allow them to happen. Badger the Director of UNESCO to cancel the prize, and ensure that in the future, award donations are given the proper scrutiny needed.
As always, you can check out the latest badger actions by visiting http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger – Happy Badgering!