Forum participants in Kazan submitted the final declaration

Participants of the international forum for the 50th anniversary of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in Kazan endorsed the formation of a fair and representative UNESCO World Heritage List embracing all regions of the world. This is stated in the forum final declaration, that was read out on Thursday at the final plenary session by Grigory Ordzhonikidze, Secretary General of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, Adviser to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“It was challenging to submit the results of each conference into a single document, since all the topics had an in-depth research separately at each meeting, which is a great work. We have put forward a general declaration with the final resolution to be adopted for each conference,” he announced.

The document particularly highlights the need to form a representative, geographically balanced, credible, fair World Heritage List showing all regions of the world, including African countries and small island developing states.

In addition, forum participants called on states, international and regional organisations, NGOs, commercial, charitable and expert agencies to render voluntary and advisory assistance to the interested developing countries in their implementation of the 1972 Convention.

The declaration also notes that the event participants welcome international efforts aimed at the recovery of the “Archaeological Sites of Palmyra” World Heritage site and focus on the importance of comprehensive scientific study, methodology for the restoration of its destroyed components.

The participants also called for strengthening international solidarity in the face of numerous challenges to the preservation of the cultural and natural heritage of mankind associated with climate change and cataclysms of natural and anthropogenic origin.

Shamil Gafarov, Deputy Prime Minister, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Tatarstan Commission for UNESCO delivered a speech at the plenary session. He stressed that Tatarstan will continue working on the inscription of historical sites on the priceless UNESCO heritage. In the course of the Forum wrap-up, the Deputy Prime Minister thanked everyone involved in the preservation and management of cultural and natural heritage. During the forum, Tatarstan brought together Russian and foreign specialists, scientists from 56 countries of the world.

“It is a great victory that they managed to visit us and discuss the vital issues. We are confident that the cultural heritage of Tatarstan and the Russian Federation is in good hands, which is extremely important for us,” Gafarov stated.

On Thursday, 8 December, the UNESCO International Forum for the 50th anniversary of Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage concluded in Kazan. The 1972 Convention is one of the most efficient and widely recognised international acts developed under the auspices of UNESCO. For half a century, the World Heritage List has been formed within its framework, that is a list of outstanding cultural and natural sites of universal value and requiring special protection.