'WORLD HERITAGE' CONFERENCE TO PROVE INSIGHTFUL
Representatives of 36 Arab countries will take part in the Regional Meeting of "World Heritage in Arab States" which kicks off in Abu Dhabi today. According to the organisers, all arrangements have been completed for the four-day meeting, ...
which has attracted around 150 renowned experts in the field of heritage conservation from all over the world, besides top UNSECO officials and World Heritage Centre representatives. "This is the first time we would see representatives of cultural and natural heritage sites in Arab states," said Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the meeting.
Addressing a Press conference yesterday, Al Mazrouei said the meeting would be attended by directors of departments, museums, and agencies of heritage and environment and wildlife.
He said, "This big gathering of scientists, experts and administrators in Abu Dhabi confirms the great role played by the UAE in this field and the trust it has won from international organisations. Also the Arab states' acceptance of Abu Dhabi as a meeting venue confirms the commitment of the UAE government to offer all that contributes to the conservation of heritage and originality of the Arab nation." He said the meeting would see the launch of the "Abu Dhabi Cultural Heritage Management Strategy."
The meeting would be held under the title "World Heritage in the Arab States: Follow-up to Periodic Reporting and Information Management."
Held for the first time in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the meeting is a result of realising the importance of international scientific fora and conferences in making strategic plans, discussing visions and exchanging ideas between scientists and researchers from all fields, and eventually reaching the best solutions suitable for the Arab region and its conditions.
It is also proof of the remarkable activity and steps taken in Abu Dhabi in the implementation of strategic plan to develop the Emirate and utilise its cultural and natural heritage, making it a major destination in the international tourism market, he said.
Veronique Dauge, Chief of the Arab States Unit at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, highlighted in her statement the activities of the UNESCO since its creation in 1945 in the area of protection and restoration of cultural and natural heritage.
She said the objectives of the meeting are to identify actions to be initiated within the framework of this programme, to assess the application of the latter to date, to present and review the assistance modules and to facilitate dialogue between states parties, experts and partners.
"A certain number of priorities such as increasing the number of natural sites nominated to the World Heritage List, the reinforcement of the capacities in information management or development of networks for exchange of experiences and competences, between the Arab World Heritage sites managers will also be discussed," she said.
The conference was also addressed by Dr Sami El Masri, the meeting's General Coordinator and Head of UNESCO Expert Team for the Abu Dhabi Cultural Heritage Management Strategy, and Karim Hendili, Consultant of the Arab States Unit at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.