The triennial meeting of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), taking place in New Delhi, India from 11-15 December 2017, began with the Scientific Council Meeting on 11 December in the India International Centre, New Delhi. The Opening Ceremony of the ICOMOS General Assembly was held on 12 December 2017 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium-Auditorium in New Delhi.
The triennial meeting of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), taking place in New Delhi, India from 11-15 December 2017, began with the Scientific Council Meeting on 11 December in the India International Centre, New Delhi. The Opening Ceremony of the ICOMOS General Assembly was held on 12 December 2017 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium-Auditorium in New Delhi, India.
As the representative of UNESCO at the ICOMOS General Assembly, Dr Mechtild Rössler, Director of the Heritage Division and the World Heritage Centre, gave an opening address to the Assembly, emphasizing the critical situation of heritage in the 21st century, synergies between culture and nature, the importance of heritage and democracy and highlighting UNESCO's work on culture and sustainable development. The large-scale ICOMOS General Assembly occurs every three years and provides an opportunity for up to 1,500 heritage practitioners and researchers associated with ICOMOS to gather and exchange in a spirit of international cooperation.
After the Opening Ceremony, the International Scientific Symposium on “Heritage & Democracy” will provide an opportunity for dialogue on important topics in the field of cultural heritage management, notably the “Nature/Culture Journey”, launched last year at the IUCN World Congress in Hawaii. This joint initiative by IUCN and ICOMOS, supported by the World Heritage Centre, promotes effective conservation by integrating nature and culture, which is also one of the key characteristics of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, and encourages heritage practitioners to rethink how natural and cultural heritage are interrelated, and how to build synergies across different fields and sectors. The meeting will also address the integration of communities in heritage management and sustainable urban development practices, and a panel will be dedicated to the protection and interpretation of cultural heritage in the digital age. Finally, the role of cultural heritage for peace and reconciliation will be addressed, a topic at the core of UNESCO’s mission which echoes the Organization’s advocacy for the positive role that culture can play in post-conflict situations and beyond. UNESCO is also represented by staff members of the World Heritage Centre and the UNESCO Office in New Delhi who will participate in the Assembly and its various working groups and knowledge cafes. Mr Shigeru Aoyagi, Director of the UNESCO New Delhi Office and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, also spoke at the opening ceremony.
ICOMOS is a non-governmental international organization dedicated to the conservation of the world's monuments and sites. It is the only global non-government organization of its kind, dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of architectural and archaeological heritage.
The programme of the symposium is available online.