27.06.2012 - UNESCO Office in Kathmandu

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal on agenda of St. Petersburg meeting of World Heritage Committee

© UNESCO/Eric Esquivel36th session of World Heritage Committee, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

The state of conservation of three of the four World Heritage sites in Nepal, namely the Kathmandu Valley, Lumbini, the birthplace of the Lord Buddha, and Sagarmatha National Park, is presently reviewed in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation. The review is part on the agenda of the thirty-sixth session of the World Heritage Committee that meets from 24 June to 6 July.

The World Heritage Committee will also examine the final report on the results of the second cycle of the periodic reporting exercise for Asia and the Pacific. Nepal was actively involved in this exercise providing information on the implementation of the Convention at national level and state of conservation reports on all of its four inscribed properties.

A five member delegation led by the Director-General of the Department of Archaeology, Bhesh Narayan Dahal, including the Permanent Delegate of Nepal to UNESCO and one staff from the Department of Archaeology and two from the Lumbini Development Trust represent Nepal in St. Petersburg.

Opening the meeting on Sunday UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova underscored the 40 years of glorious experience of the World Heritage Convention in creating a new global map of peace and a network for cultural exchanges among close to 1,000 sites across the world.Ms Bokova called on all involved “to act and think as visionaries to rejuvenate the World Heritage Convention and confront the challenges of the 21st century”, notably, those of sustainable development and peace building.

During the session, the committee will examine the progress in the conservation of the 35 properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Reports on the state of conservation of 105 properties already inscribed on the World Heritage List will also be reviewed by the Committee during the session. But the most attractive part of the agenda is perhaps the Committee’s decision which of the 36 new candidate sites will included in the World Heritage List.

The on-going thirty-sixth session of the World Heritage Committee, an independent body of 21 States Parties to the 1972 World Heritage Convention, is being chaired by Eleonora Mitrofanova, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO. For the first time in its 40-year history, members of the public and the media have been able to follow the debates of the Committee through live streaming on the internet. And Most of the working documents of the Committee are available to the public online in English and French.

The World Heritage List, created under the terms of the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage numbers 936 properties forming part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers to be of outstanding universal value. Sites inscribed include 725 cultural, 183 natural and 28 mixed properties in 153 States Parties. One-hundred-eighty-nine States Parties have ratified the World Heritage Convention to date.


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