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Viet Nam elected to UN World Heritage Committee

Update: November, 21/2013 - 09:30
Ha Long Bay, in the Gulf of Tonkin, includes some 1,600 islands and islets, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. The 18th meeting of the Committee of the World Heritages of UNESCO (in Thailand on December 17th, 1994), officially recognized Halong Bay as a natural heritage site of worldwide importance.
PARIS (VNS)— Viet Nam has been elected to the 21-member World Heritage Committee (WHC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for the first time.

The results of the election, which covers the 2013-17 tenure, were announced at the 19th session of the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention in Paris, France, on Tuesday.

Associate Professor Dang Van Bai, member of the Viet Nam National Cultural Heritage Council, said this was a great honour for Viet Nam, as the WHC is one of UNESCO's most important professional committees.

The WHC decides many significant issues regarding the recognition of world cultural and natural heritage sites and the evaluation of the preservation of the sites globally, as well as guidelines, policies and development orientations of the World Heritage Convention.

Viet Nam ratified the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1987.

The country has had seven pieces of cultural and natural heritage inscribed in the UNESCO's world heritage list to date.

Bai attributed the election success to the country's ceaseless efforts to enhance the management and protection of outstanding universal values and authenticity of world heritage sites, not only in Viet Nam but also throughout the world.

Viet Nam had also eagerly collaborated with many countries, especially those in the Asia-Pacific, to organise international events, seminars and training courses to exchange experience, Bai noted.

The establishment of a working team competent in the management and conservation of world heritage sites allowed Viet Nam to confidently take on new responsibilities as a WHC member.

Viet Nam was committed to firmly protecting world heritage sites within its territory, he said.

The country aims to enhance experience exchanges and support other States, especially those in Southeast Asia and other developing countries, in the management and protection of world heritage sites.

At the same time, it will promote public awareness of world heritage and encourage all parties, including the public and private sectors as well as local communities, to participate in heritage preservation.

The country will also conduct in-depth research and facilitate the sharing of knowledge on the outstanding universal value ?of world heritage sites, Bai said. — VNS

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