SOC: Angkor (Cambodia)
The Committee noted that at its eighteenth session, the Bureau expressed satisfaction with the progress accomplished by the Royal Cambodian Government in response to the requests formulated by the Committee at its sixteenth session, when Angkor was inscribed on the World Heritage List and List of World Heritage in Danger.
At the invitation of UNESCO and at the request of the Chairperson of the Committee, the Minister of State of the Kingdom of Cambodia, H.E. Mr Vann Molyvann, made a presentation to Committee members, highlighting the main tasks undertaken by the Royal Government to ensure the safeguarding of Angkor (401 sq.km.) and the development of its historical, archaeological and anthropological heritage, in the region of Siem Reap (10,000 sq.km).
In particular, he emphasized, the implementation of the recommendations made in the framework of the UNESCO-implemented project "Zoning and the Environmental Management Plan for Angkor (ZEMP)", and which defined five categories of protected zones:
i) monumental sites
ii) protected archaeological reserves
iii) protected cultural landscapes
iv) areas of archaeological, anthropological and historical interest;
v) perimeter for socio-economic and cultural development of the region of Siem-Reap.
The Minister of State also recalled that legislation concerning the protection of cultural properties had been prepared and that proposals had been submitted to the Royal Government concerning the official establishment of a management organism for Angkor (the so-called APSARA Agency). Subsequently, he reviewed all actions undertaken by donor countries in the framework of the programmes implemented under the aegis of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguard and the Development of the Historic site of Angkor (ICC), created by the Intergovernmental Conference of Tokyo in October 1993 and co-chaired by France and Japan. Finally, after having warmly thanked UNESCO and its Director-General, the members of the ICC and their co-chairs, he addressed an appeal to States Parties to the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Heritage, requesting strong and massive support to the Kingdom of Cambodia in its fights against illicit traffic of cultural heritage.
Following this presentation, for which the Chairperson warmly thanked the Representative of the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Committee took note of the Report of Activities for 1994 established by the ICC Secretariat and presented by Mr A. Beschaouch.
Action by the Committee: The Committee adopted the following Declaration:
Having taken note of the huge efforts undertaken by the Cambodian authorities despite the difficult conditions prevailing in the country, the Committee congratulated the the Royal Government of Cambodia for so far responding to the recommendations of the sixteenth session of the Committee. On the one hand, the Committee congratulated the International Coordinating Committee for Angkor, co-chaired by France and Japan, and on the other, UNESCO, which provides the Secretariat for this Committee, for the successful mobilization of a vast network of international aid for the safeguarding action and for devising the conceptual framework linking archaeological conservation as an integral process in the promotion of sustainable development of the Angkor-Siem Reap region, as exemplified by the UNESCO-implemented project "Zoning and Environmental Management Plan for Angkor (ZEMP)".
The Committee urged the Royal Government of Cambodia and its National Assembly to vote without delay the legislation concerning the protection of cultural properties. The Committee also requested the Royal Government of Cambodia to approve the creation of a management organism to enforce the application of the national legislation and regulations concerning the protection of Angkor in view of its status as a World Heritage property. The above-mentioned legislative texts and the statutes of the management organism for Angkor will be presented to the nineteenth session of the Committee for information purposes, together with cartographic data indicating the permanent boundaries of the Angkor World Heritage area and its buffer zone.