Press Releases

    GA/9939
    29 October 2001

    GENERAL COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS INCLUSION OF ADDITIONAL ITEM, "UNITED NATIONS YEAR FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE, 2002" ON GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S AGENDA

    NEW YORK, 26 October (UN Headquarters) -- The General Committee this morning recommended that an additional item, entitled "United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage, 2002", be included in the agenda for the current General Assembly session.

    The Committee also decided that the item should be considered directly in the plenary, and it is effected that the Assembly will take relevant action on that matter on Tuesday morning, 30 October.

    The representatives of Canada, China, Egypt, Iran, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Russian Federation, Spain and Uruguay requested the inclusion of the item in a letter addressed to the Secretary-General (document A/56/231).

    Speaking on behalf of those countries, Mohamed Roshdy (Egypt) said that proclaiming 2002 the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage would coincide with the celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. That Convention had entrusted the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the protection, safeguarding and enhancement of the World’s Heritage, namely, a common heritage for all humankind, regardless of geographical location. That notion brought about a drive for change and implied tangible and intangible heritage.

    Further, he said the emphasizing of a common living heritage would contribute to the economic and social development of local populations and to a more concerted effort of United Nations agencies. It would mobilize Member States for information exchange and increasing technical and financial support. It would also develop concrete actions that would contribute to the role played by heritage in economic development, peace-building and the fight against poverty.

    The World Heritage Convention, ratified by 164 States parties, included 690 world cultural and natural heritage sites. It had given a strong impulse to the growing awareness concerning both the cultural and the economic importance of the protection and enhancement of those heritage sites, the representative of Egypt said.

    The representatives of Ukraine, Ethiopia and Cambodia associated themselves with the statement of the representative of Egypt.

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