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UNESCO Asia-Pacific News 2007


The Kingdom of Cambodia Became the 16th State Party to the UNESCO 2001 Convention

The Kingdom of Cambodia deposited on 19 September 2007 its instrument of ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001) with the Director-General of UNESCO. Cambodia became therewith the 16th State Party to the Convention taking a strong position in the protection of its submerged archaeological sites and bringing the Convention closer to its entry into force. 


Singapore Inaugurated as UNESCO’s 193rd Member State at 34th General Conference

A ceremony held at UNESCO on 17 October 2007 marked Singapore’s official return to UNESCO. Before the ceremony, UNESCO’s Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura held a bilateral meeting with Mr Gan Kim Yong, who leads the Singaporean Delegation to the Conference. They discussed the future cooperation between UNESCO and Singapore and agreed that Singapore would form part of UNESCO’s Bangkok Cluster. 


Traditional Knowledge Systems and Expressions of Culture in South Pacific

The meeting, which will take place from 31 October to 1 November in Queensland, Australia, explores the use of traditional knowledge systems and the expressions of culture for social and sustainable development and related topics. It focuses primarily on the next generation of indigenous leadership in the Pacific and beyond as well as a digital museum studies facility to cover the South Pacific. Participants include eminent indigenous persons, museum professionals and art professionals from Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and the United States of America. For more information, please contact Mr Mali Voi at: m.voi[at]unesco.org. 


Accession by Cambodia to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions

On 19 September 2007, Cambodia deposited with the Director-General its instrument of accession to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. In accordance with the terms of its Article 29, the aforementioned Convention will enter into force with respect to Cambodia three months after the date of the deposit of its instrument, that is to say on 19 December 2007.


Asia Conserved
, UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards Book Launched
The book Asia Conserved: Lessons Learned from the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation(2000-2004) was officially launched at the Phra Racha Wang Derm Palace (2004 Award of Merit) on 16 August 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand. The book has been published with the primary support of the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust, with contributions from UNESCO Beijing, UNESCO Islamabad, UNESCO Jakarta and UNESCO Phnom Penh.

Spanning diverse cultures and building traditions, Asia Conserved presents a panoramic survey of the wealth of architectural heritage in the region and provides a blueprint for concerted action on the part of private citizens and governments alike in its conservation.

Presented in case study format, this book showcases best conservation practices achieved by winning projects in the first five years of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards programme. The projects encompass a range of building typologies, from fortifi ed palaces to vernacular residences, ornate houses of worship to utilitarian factories, elegant engineering works to urban districts. From the case studies are derived important lessons that show how strong public-private partnerships and innovative grassroots initiatives can create a powerful platform for the protection of the historic built environment in such diverse places as the ancient cities of Central Asia, the cultural landscapes and historic precincts of South Asia, the port settlements of South-East Asia and the urban centres of East Asia. If you wish to order a copy, please contact us at:
culture[at]unescobkk.org.  


Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Cultural Tourism: Opportunities and Challenges
Structured around case studies from the region, the threeday meeting will serve as a platform for experts and practitioners to defi ne the role for cultural tourism in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage from 11 to 13 December 2007. Focusing on Southeast Asia and the Greater Mekong Sub-region in particular, it is organized by the Office of the UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific, in cooperation with the Korean Establishment Initiative for the Intangible Heritage Center for Asia-Pacific (EIIHCAP), the Department of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture and Information, Viet Nam and the Hue Monuments Conservation Center (HMCC). The objective of the meeting is to advance the understanding of the relationships between intangible cultural heritage and sustainable tourism to be better able to apply this understanding programmatically at the fi eld level. Interested parties can register as observers until 28 September 2007.

For more details about the meeting, please contact Ms Patricia Alberth at:
p.alberth[at]unescobkk.org.