Vietnam Wins Seat at World Heritage Committee for 2023-2027
|Announcement of vote results. Photo: Viet Cuong
Within the framework of the 24th session of the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) in Paris on November 22, 2023, Vietnam was elected to become a member of the World Heritage Committee for the 2023-2027 term.
Accordingly, among 173 countries voting, 171 votes were valid. Vietnam has secured the highest number of votes in Group 4 of the Asia-Pacific, ranked second out of the nine countries elected to the committee from five regions.
The World Heritage Committee is an important governing body of UNESCO, empowered to make decisions on key issues related to the recognition of cultural and natural heritage worldwide; review and evaluate the conservation status of global heritage sites; decide on policies, budgetary directions, and development orientations of the World Heritage Convention. The World Heritage Convention has 194 members, the highest out of all UNESCO conventions.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc, who is also Chairman of the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO commented this is the second time Vietnam has assumed a role at the key cultural executive agency of UNESCO. The election holds important significance in many aspects, affirming the righteous foreign policy of the Vietnamese Party and State as in the spirit of the 13th National Party Congress and Directive No. 25-CT/TW of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat on multilateralism, diversification, comprehensive and extensive international integration, strengthening and elevating multilateral foreign diplomacy and effectively coordinating political, economic, and cultural diplomacy as well as bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
|The Vietnamese delegation attended the 24th General Assembly Session in Paris. Photo: Department of Cultural Heritage
Being elected with a high number of votes also reflected Vietnam’s prestige in the international arena, the international community’s trust in and support for its contribution, and chairmanship capacity in global multilateral institutions. At the same time, this also recognizes Vietnam's practical contributions in relations with UNESCO, in preserving, conserving, and promoting heritage values in Vietnam and around the world. This is the result of the effective implementation of the Cultural Diplomacy Strategy until 2030 and the methodological and widespread campaigning among international partners in Hanoi, Paris, and capital cities of other countries via their representative agencies.
Along with the recent achievements, namely role of Vice President of the 42nd session of the UNESCO’s General Conference; Da Lat and Hoi An were named in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network; Progenitor of Vietnamese traditional medicine Le Huu Trac, alias Hai Thuong Lan Ong was named in a resolution on the list of eminent personalities and historical events commemorated in 2023 – 2024, this result has contributed to introducing Vietnam’s image as dynamic in innovation and international integration, but still rich in tradition and imbued with national identity.
Ambassador Le Thi Hong Van, Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, emphasized: “For the first time, we simultaneously participate in all five of UNESCO’s top governing mechanisms, Vietnam has an opportunity to actively and positively contribute to UNESCO’s major programs and orientations, particularly culture. This also helps raise awareness of the importance of heritage, which is not only an essential resource for cultural diversity, creativity, intercultural dialogue, and social cohesion, but also a driving force for peace, self-reliance, and sustainable development.”
As a member of the World Heritage Committee for the 2023-2027 tenure, Vietnam will have favorable conditions to further contribute to the completion and implementation of the goals and priorities set by the Convention. The country can also share experiences in harmoniously handling the relationship between conservation and development of world heritage sites in Vietnam. As UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay affirmed: "Vietnam is a typical success story in linking economic and cultural development and also a good model for environmental conservation and sustainable tourism development.”
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