UNESCO Celebrates its 40th Anniversary World Heritage Convention. When the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted the World Heritage Convention 40 years ago; it set for itself the ambitious task of establishing an inventory of works considered to be of outstanding and universal value, and of ensuring their safekeeping so that present and future generations can enjoy them.
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Heritage is our LegacyThe Convention established that certain features of heritage are of importance to the country or culture in which they are located, and all nations as a whole benefit from the cultures of various people, and that they are all responsible for protecting and preserving them. Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we will pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage is sources of life and inspiration.
Places as unique and diverse as the Ifugao rice terraces, the Tubbataha Reef in Sulu, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, the baroque cathedrals, churches, and homes in many parts of the world – in Europe, Asia, South America and the Philippines – the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the East African Serengeti plains, make up our world's heritage. As of September 30, 2012, there were 962 heritage sites, 745 cultural, 188 natural, and 29 mixed sites in 196 countries. The cooperation among nations to name World Heritage Sites is a truly exceptional accomplishment as well as a noble cause.
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Convention, the UNESCO has lined up several forums on October 1-30, 2012, on World Heritage Protection and Conservation in several parts of the world. Nations need to secure these sites, manage and plan strategies to be integrated in territorial and regional policies, and make people more aware of the importance and urgency to protect our past to ensure our future.
We greet the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and the UNESCO headed by Director General Irina Bokova, Director of the World Heritage Center Kishore Rao, Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee Sok An, and Rapporteur Jasna Zrnovic, for their efforts in taking action to protect world heritage and wish them the best in all their endeavors.