30 июня 2011

The 35th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Paris

On June 19-29, the 35th Session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) took place at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The Committee comprises 21 countries including Russia being members of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO, 1972). The Convention is one of the most effective international legal instruments of UNESCO and at present brings together 187 countries. The session important outcome for Russia was choosing St. Petersburg as a venue for the 36th session of the Committee in 2012. Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO Mrs. Eleonora Mitrofanova was unanimously elected New Chairperson of the WHC. During the session, the Committee Member States considered the main issues of implementing the UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972) (Russia has been a member since 1988), the activities of UNESCO World Heritage Center, providing international assistance to the Member States from the World Heritage Fund and a number of other. The WHC member countries in compliance with requests by the Member States endorsed inclusion of 25 new cultural and natural sites to the World Heritage List. Now it numbers 936 sites from around the world: 183 natural, 725 cultural and 28 mixed. The Russian Federation is therein represented by 24 sites of cultural and natural heritage. The Committee discussed the reports on the safe state of the sites already included in the World Heritage List, as well as those included in the List of World Heritage in Danger. According to the results of the discussion, the Committee adopted relevant decisions, including those related to 11 Russian sites (the Kremlin and Red Square, Historic Center of Saint Petersburg, Historic Center of Yaroslavl, West Caucasus, Virgin Komi Forests, Golden Mountains of Altai, and others). A total of 275 decisions concerning numerous issues on the Convention implementation were taken during the 35th session of the WHC. A strong Russian delegation headed by Mrs. Eleonora Mitrofanova, Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO, and composed of experts from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Nature sat on the Committee.