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PHILIPPINES WINS SEAT IN WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE

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Ambassador Cristina G. Ortega with Architect Michael Manalo and Mr. Eric Zerrudo, UNESCO National Commission Culture Commissioners, Deputy Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Ms. Deena Amatong and Ms. Patricia Gautier of the Philippine Permanent Delegation

The Philippines won a seat in the prestigious World Heritage Committee today after elections were held during the 19th Session of the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention.  This year’s elections brought together 22 country candidates who vied for 12 available seats in the Committee. 

The Philippines garnered the second highest vote in the elections, having received 116 votes from the total of 173 votes cast.  This was a clear indication of States Parties’ support for and belief in the country’s capabilities to perform the important mission of the Committee. 

Together with the Philippines, Croatia, Finland, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Turkey and Vietnam will now join the other 9 current members of the World Heritage Committee.   The Philippines will serve a 4-year term until 2017.

During her remarks before the General Assembly, Ambassador Cristina G. Ortega expressed appreciation for the trust bestowed upon the Philippines.  She assured the Assembly that the Philippines will be an active and responsible member who will work hard for the interests of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.  She also said “that this is indeed happy news for my country”.

The General Assembly of States Parties meets every two years and elects new members to the World Heritage Committee to replace the outgoing members and it determines the uniform percentage of contributions to the World Heritage Fund applicable to all States Parties.  

The 21-member World Heritage Committee is one of the most prestigious bodies associated with UNESCO whose main responsibility is to implement the World Heritage Convention.  The Committee decides on whether a property is inscribed in or deleted from the World Heritage List. It examines reports on the state of conservation of inscribed properties and asks States Parties to take action when properties are not being properly managed.  It also determines the use of the World Heritage Fund and allocates financial assistance upon requests made by States Parties.

The campaign for the Philippine candidature to the Committee was spearheaded by the Permanent Delegation of the Philippines to UNESCO, led by Ambassador Ortega, with  valuable support and coordination provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines. END