Vietnam unites with international community to protect world heritage

VOV.VN - The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage highlighted the active companionship and responsibility of the nation has with the international community.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), the Ninh Binh provincial People’s Committee, and the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO, came together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage on September 6 in Ninh Binh province.

Prominent guests in attendance included National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, Nguyen Trong Nghia, secretary of the Party Central Committee and head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Popularization and Education, along with Audrey Azoulay, director general of the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Azoulay praised Vietnamese authorities for fully tapping into potential of UNESCO’s cultural conventions, noting that over the past five years the group has given support to Vietnamese priorities in completing its legal framework on heritage, as well as the inventory of intangible heritages.

She assessed that Vietnamese cultural heritage aspects have been honoured over recent years, with this being testament to the importance that both UNESCO and Vietnam has in terms of promoting their value.

Acknowledging the wider significance of the convention and highlighting the country’s related responsible and active implementation, Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung informed participants that before the COVID-19 pandemic, local world heritage sites served over 19 million visitors in 2019. As a result related tourism services brought in VND1.8 trillion, equal to US$76.43 million, for the national economy.

This represents clear proof of the promotion of the value of heritage, thereby affirming the contributions of world heritages to Vietnamese socio-economic growth to improve the livelihoods of local communities. This is along with protecting the environment and consolidating peace and security towards sustainable development of the country and the wider world, he stressed.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc, chairman of the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO, said during 35 years of Vietnamese participation in the convention, the commission has made tremendous efforts in order to promote capacity building, international co-operation, and education for heritage preservation.

The nation is keen to make greater contributions and is therefore running for a seat in the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for the 2023 to 2027 term, with high hopes of receiving support from other member states of the convention, Deputy Minister Ngoc said.

The convention was adopted by UNESCO at its 17th session in Paris on November 16, 1972, and is the only group combining cultural and natural heritage protection. As many as 194 states have since become members of this convention.

Since Vietnam ratified the deal on October 19, 1987, it has featured eight cultural, natural, and mixed heritages inscribed in the world heritage list. The sites have greatly contributed to local socio-economic development, helping to popularise the country’s images to international friends.

According to the MCST, UNESCO has encouraged member states to mark the convention’s 50th anniversary ahead of the global celebration which will be held in Florence, Italy, this November.

This event is anticipated to open a broad array of global activities to celebrate the 1972 Convention, whilst also marking the 35th anniversary of the Convention's implementation in Vietnam.