Saturday, 18 November, 2017

WHC ends 41st session with call for more protection to heritage sites

13 Jul 2017, 00:07 ( 4 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Photo taken on July 8, 2017 shows the session of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland. The 41st session of the World Heritage Committee on Saturday decided to put China's Gulangyu historic international settlement on the prestigious World Heritage List as a cultural site. So far, China has 52 sites inscribed to the List. Photo Xinhua.

The 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) ended Wednesday in Krakow, a city in southern Poland.

At the closing ceremony, Committee Chairman Jacek Purchla said that 235 decisions were made in Krakow by the committee.

"These were ten intense, inspirational, enriching and constructive days," said Purchla, adding "We all tried to fulfill our mission with respect of the Convention for the Protection of the World Heritage ...We should do our utmost to ensure that our debates, discussions and decisions are undertaken in a collaborative and transparent manner."

The meeting from July 2 to 12 has inscribed 21 new sites to UNESCO's World Heritage List, including 18 cultural and three natural sites, thus bringing to 1,073 the total number of sites on the World Heritage List.

Along with the Chinese Gulangyu historic international settlement and world's highest and largest plateau - Qinghai Hoh Xil; sites in Turkey, Eritrea, Hebron, Argentina, Dauria, India, Japan, Angola, Iran, Russia, Germany, Poland, Cambodia, South Africa, historical Venetia (Croatia, Italy, Montenegro), French Polynesia, Great Britain, Brazil and Greenland were included.

Du Yue, Secretary-general from the National Commission of China for UNESCO, emphasized that China has taken a very important step and contributed to the protection of the world's nature and environment.

China so far boasts 52, and Angola's and Eritrea's sites were inscribed to the List for the first time in history.

Apart from the above decisions, the boundaries of five sites already on the list have been extended or modified, according to the UNESCO website. The extension included Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe, W-Arly-Pendjari Complex in Benin and Burkina Faso, Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau in Germany and Strasbourg in France.

The Committee also decided to remove three items and add one to the list of World Heritage sites in danger and reviewed the state of conservation of 99 World Heritage sites.

About 2,000 delegates from 126 countries attended the Committee session.

Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, said at the opening ceremony: "World Heritage is not just a list of marvelous sites -- it is a vision for peace, carved in stone and cultural landscapes, with the power to change the minds of women and men, to shape a different future for all. World Heritage embodies the great humanist idea that people of all cultures and faiths can unite around places of outstanding universal value."

The World Heritage Committee consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the Convention elected by their General Assembly. The Committee, which meets once a year, is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. It defines the use of the World Heritage Fund, allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties and decides whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List.

This was the first time for Poland to host a UNESCO session.

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