The 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO concluded on July 31 in Fuzhou, capital of southeast China's Fujian Province. Representatives attended the closing ceremony in person or via live webcast, including Tian Xuejun, Vice Minister of Education and Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee's 44th session, Ernesto Renato Ottone Ramirez, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, Alexander Kuznetsov, Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee's 45th session and Russia's permanent delegate to UNESCO and senior officials from Fujian Provincial Government.
In this year’s session, a total of 34 new sites were inscribed on the World Heritage List, including "Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China", and three sites were extended.
In his remarks, Tian Xuejun pointed out that in its review of nomination proposals, the Committee was committed to the principles stipulated in the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage while providing adequate support to developing countries. Two sites in African countries were newly added to the list, and after 22 years’ efforts, Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger, which was of great significance for the world heritage protection in Africa and all the other developing countries.
Tian said China attached great importance to the hosting of this session. China would join hands with the UNESCO to build an online platform for world heritage education, and promised to assist developing countries (especially African countries and small island developing States) in the training of world heritage protection. Also, activities like the World Heritage Young Professionals Forum and the side event themed “World Heritage Education for the Future” would greatly help to expand participation of the young people.
Tian pointed out China had been an advocate for and participant in world heritage education. China would work with the other countries and the UNESCO to promote international exchanges and cooperation and provide support to world heritage protection, thus conserving the cultural and natural treasures shared by the mankind.
The World Heritage Committee congratulated the successful conclusion of this session, and expressed great appreciation and gratitude to China, the hosting country of the event, for its exceptional leadership, impartial judgement and unfailing commitment to multilateralism.