The Director-General meets with His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saoud

The Director-General meets with His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saoud
  • © UNESCO/D. Bijeljac

On 6 September Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, met at Paris Headquarters with His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saoud, Head of the Supreme Commission for Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The meeting took place on the occasion of the inauguration of an exhibition of photographs devoted to the archaeological site of Mada’in Saleh organized by the Permanent Delegation of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO and the Saudi Supreme Commission for Tourism. This Nabataean site has been proposed for inscription on the World Heritage List and will be examined by the World Heritage Committee at its next session, to be held in Quebec in July 2008.

In inaugurating the exhibition, Mr Matsuura congratulated the Saudi authorities for submitting this first site for inscription on the World Heritage Site. “UNESCO strongly encourages Saudi Arabia's efforts to promote its heritage, and its protection, both nationally and internationally. In affirming the Saudi Arabian cultural identity, the Kingdom will contribute to UNESCO's priority mission of safeguarding cultural diversity, thereby enhancing the social cohesion and mutual understanding needed to achieve lasting world peace in an increasingly globalized world,” the Director-General underlined.

Mr Matsuura also welcomed the announcement that Saudi Arabia intended to become soon a State Party to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. “We consider this decision particularly significant, since this legal instrument is one of the three pillars – along with the World Heritage Convention and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions – sustaining the preservation of creative diversity around the world,” he stated.

During his bilateral meeting with HRH Prince Sultan bin Salaman, held in presence of HE Mr Saeed Al-Mullais, Vice-Minister of Education, and HE Mr Ziad Bin Abdullah Aldrees, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr Matsuura reaffirmed UNESCO’s strong commitment to strengthen its cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the field of culture and heritage. “In the current context of very rapid economic growth and development in the Kingdom and the region, it is essential to foster national cultural heritage legislation, policy and practices, as well as international coordination,” he emphasized. HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman welcomed these new prospects for fruitful cooperation and indicated that Saudi authorities were starting to implement a national master plan designed to improve promotion of cultural heritage, as well as to provide a new legal framework for the protection of heritage and antiquities.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 112-2007
  • 08-09-2007
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