From today Italy is once again a member of the World Heritage Committee, the UNESCO body that is responsible, under the UNESCO Convention of 1972, for ensuring the effective and well-structured protection of World Heritage and for taking final decisions about inscriptions on the World Heritage List.
Italy had been absent from the Committee for twenty years; our country’s previous mandate was for the period 1997-2001. The elections for the partial renewal of the Committee took place in Paris this morning at the 23rd General Assembly of the States Parties, on the sidelines of the 41st General Conference of UNESCO.
Along with Greece and Belgium, Italy was a candidate in Electoral Group I (Western European and North American States) and was elected in the first round with a very large margin of consensus from the Member States.
Italy’s presence on the Committee is in line with our consolidated skills in safeguarding cultural and natural heritage, and our long-standing commitment to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, as is also confirmed by our absolute primacy in terms of the number of Italian sites inscribed on the List (58) and the role that Italy will be fulfilling as a guest and co-organiser of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Convention, to take place in Florence in 2022.
“This very important result” said Minister Di Maio “which rewards the work carried out by the Foreign Ministry, by our Permanent Representation to UNESCO, and by our whole network in close collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, crowns our traditional commitment to the protection of cultural and natural heritage and calls on us to further intensify international cooperation, in order to respond adequately to the global challenges which threaten that heritage and to pass it on to future generations. This brilliant result is added to our election to the UNESCO Executive Council at the previous General Conference and to the numerous inscriptions that were added to the List last July – meaning that Italy is now the country with the greatest number of inscribed sites (58) and making us more and more a partner of absolute pre-eminence for UNESCO”.