By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
The 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has finished its work in Baku on July 10. At the Baku session, 45 significant decisions were made and 29 heritage sites were inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List.
The session participants included more than 2,500 delegates from 180 countries, including ministers, executives, representatives and ambassadors of international organizations in Azerbaijan, and members of the Azerbaijani government.
The Baku session saw the presentation of 36 out of 42 nominations for the World Heritage List.
At the beginning of Baku session, Baku Declaration was adopted which emphasized the need to increase efforts towards the preservation and effective protection of monuments, which are included in the World Heritage List, and their management. It expressed concern over the destruction of natural and cultural monuments in the zone of armed conflicts, including the conduct of illegal archaeological excavations, the illegal transportation of cultural property and the illegal exploitation of cultural resources.
Baku session included plenty of decisions made on inclusion of different cultural historic heritage sites in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
First, the issue of inclusion of the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of the Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf was considered. This nomination was supported by 18 countries. Thus, the natural site of migratory birds on this seashore, located between China and the Korean Peninsula, was included in the World Heritage List.
Moreover, cultural and natural monuments of Bahrain, Dilmun mounds, and Australia, Budj Bim volcano, as well as 10 churches and temples of the city of Pskov in Russia were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
On July 6, Bagan site which is located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar, and on July 7, Bom Jesus do Monte, a sanctuary in Tenoes, northern Portugal, were also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
As for Azerbaijan, on July 7, a decision that has huge importance for the ancient heritage and rich culture of Azerbaijan was made. Khan Palace and the historical center of Sheki were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This became the third cultural heritage site inscribed on the World Heritage List after the Icherisheher with Maiden's Tower and the Shirvanshahs Palace (2000) and Gobustan rock paintings (2007).
The inclusion of the historic center of Sheki together with the Khan Palace on the UNESCO World Heritage List is the result of Azerbaijan’s consistent activities at UNESCO.
It is noteworthy that holding UNESCO World Heritage Committee session in Baku is evidence of the recognition and appreciation of Azerbaijan’s international achievements. This event will strengthen the position of Azerbaijan on the cultural and tourist map of the world.
On the last day of the 43rd session, addressing the event, Abulfas Garayev, Azerbaijan`s Minister of Culture, highly appreciated the work carried out within the 10 days of the session.
Then, he spoke about the importance of holding the event in Azerbaijan, stressing that one of the main directions of the state policy of the country, along with the preservation and promotion of national and spiritual values and cultural and historical heritage, is the international support for the protection and preservation of world heritage.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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