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UNESCO Elects Greece to World Heritage Committee

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Greece was elected to the World Heritage Committee together with 11 other countries during the 23rd General Assembly of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention which met at UNESCO headquarters in Paris this week.

During the session chaired Tebogo Seokolo, ambassador extraordinary and permanent delegate of South Africa to UNESCO, the general assembly elected 12 new members to the World Heritage Committee, namely Greece, Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Zambia.

“Greece was elected in the first round as a member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for the next four years. This is an exceptional distinction for our country,” said Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, adding that it was a result of “hard work and systematic efforts by delegations from the ministries of foreign affairs and culture.

“Our goal is the active protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage – which now has to deal with the effects of the climate crisis – as well as the preservation and strengthening of the universal value of monuments in all geographical regions of the world,” said Mendoni.

A UNESCO World Heritage site in Greece: The Archaeological site of Delphi. Photo source: Ministry of Culture

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Twitter said the government was grateful to the countries that supported Greece’s candidacy.

“Greece has just been elected to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee with 119 votes… Our country is ready to work to promote the protection of the world cultural heritage,” said Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

The World Heritage Committee is responsible for selecting the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites – including the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger – defines the use of the World Heritage Fund, and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.

The committee consists of representatives from 21 state parties elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a four-year term. These parties vote on decisions and proposals related to the World Heritage Convention and World Heritage List. 

Current members of the committee are: Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, and Zambia.

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