UNESCO’s 45th Session Concludes with New Inscriptions of 42 Cultural, Natural Sites

The extended 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting concluded with new inscriptions of 33 cultural and 9 natural sites as world heritages among which two are from Ethiopia.

The session took place in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from September 10–25, 2023.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 195 State Parties to the world heritage convention, the World Heritage Center Secretariat, Advisory bodies and almost 300 Civil Societies participated in the meetings. As one of the 21 member countries, Ethiopia participated earnestly at the session.

The intensive session concluded with 42 new inscriptions (33 cultural and 9 natural sites), it was indicated.

The World Heritage Committee also examined 263 state of conservation report of already inscribed sites.

With a total of 100 additional sites inscribed this year, Africa reached the symbolic milestone of 100 sites on the World Heritage List.

Ethiopia was also able to register the Gedeo Cultural Landscape and the Bale Mountains National Park on the World Heritage List with unanimous support.

The inscribed sites on the World Heritage List are expected to benefit from the highest level of heritage protection in the world, as well as new opportunities for technical and financial assistance from UNESCO.

The extended 45th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting has left an indelible mark in the history of UNESCO with the expansion of African heritage on the World Heritage List.

During the meeting, Africa’s leadership and active participation was registered.

Influence in priority Africa strategy as well as removal of listing threat alerts associated to African sites, was successfully achieved.

The state parties also adopted a dedicated strategy developed by UNESCO for increasing the number of the African Heritage sites on the World Heritage List and provide better support to carry out conservation projects and prepare new nomination files.

The preparation meeting of the 7 African members states experts of the World Heritage Committee in Kigali, Rwanda, enabled African members to strategize positions, negotiate, and speak with one voice both within the Committee and outside by forging strategic alliances to support positions with other committee members / regions.

The contribution of the African World Heritage Fund in terms of coordinating and providing technical support as well as placing the Africa Region activities on social media platforms was also important.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency