The President was accompanied by Ambassador Maria Jesus San Segundo, Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO.
Welcoming President Pérez Touriño to UNESCO, the Director-General expressed his satisfaction at the present state of UNESCO’s collaboration with the Autonomous Community and at the prospect of further strengthening it through the signing of an agreement of cooperation between UNESCO and Galicia at the suggestion of the President.
The Director-General highlighted that out of the 40 Spanish sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, three were located in Galicia: the Old Town of Santiago de Compostela (1985), the Route of Santiago de Compostela (1993) and the Roman Walls of Lugo (2000). A number of Galician sites are also included in the Spanish Tentative List. Mr Matsuura informed the President that the candidature of the Tower of Hercules, La Coruña, would be examined by the World Heritage Committee at its 33rd session to be held in June 2009.
President Touriño informed the Director-General of the intention to establish a new trans-boundary biosphere reserve with Portugal. The Director-General welcomed this initiative and assured the President of UNESCO’s readiness to assist in its establishment.
The Director-General also welcomed the region’s interest in various initiatives proposed for the celebration of the International Year of Languages in 2008. In this regard, Mr Matsuura referred to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, to which Spain had become party in October 2006. The Director-General informed the President that the next meeting of the State Parties to the Convention would adopt operational guidelines, which would allow the establishment of two lists of intangible cultural heritage. Given the rich intangible cultural heritage of Galicia, the Director-General encouraged the authorities of the Autonomous Community to reinforce cooperation with UNESCO in this domain.
Finally, President Touriño invited the Director-General to visit Galicia, an invitation which the Director-General was pleased to accept.
Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 053-2008 - Publication Date: 30-04-2008