On July 18, the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO adopted the Fuzhou Declaration, reiterating the significance of world heritage protection and international cooperation, as well as the need to work and act together to address climate change. It called for closer international cooperation under the framework of multilateralism, stronger support for developing countries (especially African countries and small island developing States), better world heritage education, wider share of knowledge and wider use of new technologies.
Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education and Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee's 44th session, pointed out that world heritage was a cultural and natural treasure shared by mankind, and it was everyone’s responsibility to promote cultural exchange, world peace and sustainable development, and to tackle all kinds of risks and challenges, both conventional and non-conventional, in world heritage protection.
This year coincides with the 50th anniversary of the UNESCO’s adoption of the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. In this context Tian pointed out that the Fuzhou Declaration would contribute to ensuring that the world evolved to be more open, inclusive, resilient, sustainable, clean and beautiful for future generations.
The Fuzhou Declaration was widely endorsed and commended by the UNESCO member states, since it was well-balanced, highly inclusive and reflected the general concerns of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention. The Fuzhou Declaration also expressed gratitude to China’s contribution as the host country of the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee. Tian said that one of China’s next steps would be to introduce concrete actions to put into place the initiatives proposed in the Declaration.
The 44th session of the World Heritage Committee was held from July 16 to 18 in Fuzhou, capital of east China's Fujian Province, to review world heritage items online for the first time, and review the agendas for both 2020 and 2021.