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16 November 2002
The closing day of the Congress was delayed due to Acqua alta (high tides and flooding). As a result some of the morning sessions were slightly shortened.
11h30 > 12h30
The Evolution of the World Heritage Concept and Future Orientations
for the Implementation of the Convention
The Evolution of the World Heritage Concept and Future Orientations for the Implementation of the Convention
Russell Train, Chairman Emeritus of the World Wildlife Fund US, shared his recollections of the genesis of the World Heritage Convention - and his essential role in its birth -- as it marked its 30th anniversary on Saturday. "From the beginning," he said, "I have seen the idea of World Heritage as being something more than simply helping to assure protection and quality management for unique natural and cultural sites around the world - as critically important as that goal is. Above and beyond that goal, I see the program as an opportunity to convey the idea of a common heritage among nations and peoples everywhere. I see it as a compelling idea that can help unite people rather than divide them. I see it as an idea that can help build a sense of community among people throughout the world. I see it as an idea whose time has truly come."
World Heritage: A Common Responsibility
UNESCO World Heritage Centre Director Francesco Bandarin said the 30th anniversary Congress had given the development of partnerships a "kick-start". Partnerships are becoming all the more crucial as the World Heritage Fund continues to fall far short of needs, Bandarin said, adding that care should be taken to value and respect existing partnerships while forging new ones. Support for World Heritage can stem from existing programmes, or existing mechanisms for development assistance, he said. Bandarin also expressed concern about the World Heritage brand, urging vigilance to ensure that World Heritage sites are associated with "top value".
Partnerships and Perspectives of Future Cooperation: A Few Examples
Gianni Brizzi, the World Bank's Adviser on Culture and Development for the Middle East and North Africa region, said that the World Bank had taken a "more explicit and active approach to integrating the cultural dimension in its overall assistance agenda" in the past five years. He noted that since the 1970s, more than 200 World Bank loans, credits and grants have included investment in cultural resources, with some 600 million dollars worth of investments directly benefiting protection, conservation or "valorization" of cultural heritage assets. Brizzi stressed, however, that "much more remains to be done in fostering partnerships." He said: "We have to recognize that developing countries hold a significant and integral part of the world cultural heritage." Noting that poor countries lack the necessary human and financial resources to safeguard their heritage, Brizzi warned: "Unless international partnership is promoted to this end, this patrimony will be largely lost." He urged public agencies, NGOs and private foundations in the developed world to earmark a small percentage of their resources each year for "sibling institutions" in developing countries.
UN Foundation President Timothy Wirth referred to the variety of modes of implementation include direct matching investments, endowed management trusts, and unique approaches such as that of the Aveda brand of environmentally friendly beauty products, which has "adopted" five World Heritage sites that are featured in information material at the firm's 5,000 salons around the world. "Everyone talks about partnerships, but we are only now finding out what to do with them," Wirth said, adding that today "very interesting packages of partnerships are opening opportunities to new audiences."
Vittore Branca, who intervened on behalf of the Mr Bazoli, President of the Cini Foundation, spoke of World Heritage in terms of human memory and freedom. The link was engraved in his mind, he said, when UNESCO, helped reconstruct Florence's Santa Trinita bridge, which had been destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. "We must make clear how enhancing heritage sites is a contribution to history and the life of our civilisation," Branca said. "Memory is the backbone of our civilisation and our freedom."
12h30 > 13h00
Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola, Honourable President of the Balthus foundation, asked: "How is it possible that our World Heritage continues to be destroyed? The biggest problem is ignorance," she said, urging: "Education must play a prominent role in our efforts towards the safeguarding of World Heritage."
Marianna Vardinoyannis, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, noted that the principles underlying the World Heritage Convention are those that have made UNESCO as a whole "the champion of peace, international solidarity and culture." She added: "The protection of the world's cultural heritage is not only our obligation to the past but also our duty to the future. The monuments which our ancestors have left us are the living proof and testimony to the history of peoples, and to the factors which shaped their identity. … The messages that we draw from them are universal."
"Some of the proudest moments I have," said Princess Firyal of Jordan, "are when travelling in the remotest parts of the world, and seeing the sign of UNESCO declaring the place protected from the elements and mankind - for mankind and posterity." She added: "The larger contribution of cultural heritage is that it forces us to respect and accept diversity, which is the foundation of peace." Urging us to "respect, celebrate, and learn from our differences," the Princess said: "I am confident that eventually we can isolate violence and offer generosity and understanding through the new globalisation that UNESCO is inspiring."
13h00 > 13h30
Leading a series of brief interventions marking the close of the three-day Congress, Giovanni Puglisi, Secretary-General of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO, said: "UNESCO is the coming together of interests. World Heritage recognises the great diversity of heritage around the world. Today, the World Heritage community needs to concentrate on living conservation. I wish everyone another 30 years of success, and I hope this will lead UNESCO to achieve the goal of safeguarding the whole of civilisation."
Giancarlo Galan, President of the Veneto region, said that thanks to the "last 40 years of long commitment," Venice is "not a museum city, but a living city."
Matsuura also accepted a medal from Senator Tullia Carettoni, President of the Italian National Commission for UNESCO, who called the award a "symbol of the support of Italy and Venice."
For his part, Italian Minister of Culture Giuliano Urbani said: "We share our invaluable heritage, an exciting legacy." The challenge today is "to use culture as a constant and effective tool."
Just prior to the official closing of the congress, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, and the Director of the World Heritage Centre, Francesco Bandarin, were joined by two young people, Nour Al-Nahass from Lebanon and Ruben Carlos Borrajo del Torro from Cuba.
Nour presented the conclusions of the workshop on Mobilizing Youth for World Heritage in which she and Ruben participated in Treviso, together with 20 other participants from 12 countries around the world. "We want UNESCO to continue to organize international youth fora, training courses and workshops," said Al-Nahass, "so we can learn more about the world and acquire new skills to promote and protect our heritage." She said that the Workshop participants hope to continue to make Patrimonito cartoons to be shown at schools and on television; and that they had even gone so far as to prepare a Press Release to distribute after the Congress.
Matsuura presented the winning cartoon as well as the cartoon presenting the overall initiative during the closing ceremony and then Patrimonito caps were given out by the young people to participants on the podium.
Originally, the two students were intended to speak during the session dedicated to "Mobilizing Action for World Heritage", but they could not intervene earlier due to a complete revision of the schedule of this session caused by the high tides (Acqua Alta) that hit Venice that morning.