Yunus 'misleading' public with UNESCO award claim: minister

Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury says the Nobel laureate promoted an award given by an Israeli sculptor as a UNESCO accolade

Published : 27 March 2024, 10:55 AM
Updated : 27 March 2024, 10:55 AM

Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury has accused Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus of misleading the public by 'inaccurately' claiming to have received an award from UNESCO.

On Mar 17, a post on Yunus's verified Facebook page announced that he had been honoured with the 'Tree of Life' award from UNESCO.

However, Mohibul clarified that the confusion arises from Yunus passing off the award given by Israeli sculptor Hedva Ser, a UNESCO goodwill ambassador, as if it were directly awarded by UNESCO itself.

Mohibul, the ex-officio chairman of the Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO (BNCU), said that the UN agency denied presenting any award to Yunus when asked about the matter.

"The issue here is that Dr Yunus, who is already convicted for labour law violations, is spreading misleading information using UNESCO's name. If this baseless propaganda doesn't stop, we will take legal steps."

"We've reached out to UNESCO's main headquarters, and they've confirmed that no such honour has been awarded to Dr Yunus."

He continued: "Hedva Ser herself has stated that the award is not from UNESCO. It was presented to Yunus at the Ghaznavi Center's invitation, not by UNESCO. The misinformation being spread by the Yunus Centre and Dr Yunus is not only false but intentionally deceptive."