The Director-General meets Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs
During a meeting between UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Nasser Judeh, the Minister thanked the Director-General for ensuring the effective implementation of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism applied to the World Heritage site of the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as its related Reports to the World Heritage Committee.
He recalled the role of Jordan and the Awqaf religious Authority in the preservation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Holy sites in the city, and underlined the need for dialogue "to avoid confrontation" in protecting the integrity and authenticity of the sites.
"We are very cognizant of UNESCO's responsibility for protecting the cultural heritage in the Old City of Jerusalem, a site that has a sacred meaning to the monotheistic religions", said the Director-General.
The Minister underscored the need for increased cooperation with Israel on the preservation of the Old City of Jerusalem according to UNESCO's international technical standards of integrity and authenticity and said that "any deviation from these is likely to have very critical repercussions on stability in the region".
The Minister expressed his satisfaction for the convening by UNESCO of a technical meeting between concerned parties on reaching a consensus for the design of the Mughrabi Ascent in March this year and reiterated that "both designs should be examined on equal footing" in the spirit of dialogue that animates UNESCO.
The Minister discussed the challenges faced by Jordan from the increasing refugee population from Iraq, and recently from Syria.
"UNESCO's role as an international platform for dialogue is ever more relevant at a time when calls for social transformations are increasingly vocal" concluded the Director-General, referring to the multi-faceted wealth of Jordan's society.