Flanders is a member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee

25 November 2021

At the proposal of Flemish Minister for Immovable Heritage, Matthias Diependaele, Flanders has secured a seat on the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. “There was little enthusiasm for the Flemish idea initially, but eventually, the candidacy did come. And as it turns out, it wasn’t such a bad idea, because we were able to win our seat during the General Assembly of the World Heritage Convention. Flanders has many beautiful world heritage gems such as the Wortel-Kolonie, the architectural work of Le Corbusier, the many beguinages, the Sonian Forest, etc. We are therefore an ideal partner to participate,” says Minister Diependaele. “We will be part of the 21-member prestigious committee for the next four years, which, among other things, decides on new sites for World Heritage recognition.”

In an exciting election, Belgium was elected in the second round, thanks to the votes of 103 countries (out of a total of 194). Flanders will sit on the World Heritage Committee on behalf of Belgium.

Flemish Minister Matthias Diependaele: “As a member of the Committee, we are committed to ensuring the credibility of the World Heritage Convention, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. Global challenges such as climate change, sustainable tourism and heritage in times of conflict are also high on the agenda. The proper management of World Heritage Sites, and developments in their vicinity, will also be a focus of our mandate.”

21 countries: Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Zambia.

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