VII.24 Angkor (Cambodia)
The Committee was informed of the Secretariat's report to the Bureau on the progress made by the Government of Cambodia in meeting the obligations made to the Committee at the time of the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Committee was informed that it continues to assist the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia to prepare the decrees necessary for the enforcement of the Law for the Protection of National Cultural Heritage which was promulgated on 25 January 1996.
The Authority for the Protection of the Site and Management of the Region of Angkor (APSARA), which was created in fulfillment of one of the obligations, was provided with human and financial resources necessary for its functioning. All economic development projects, including tourism, are now being examined by this authority.
The Government of Cambodia has, furthermore insisted on the sacred character of the temples of Angkor which exclude, de facto, all activity or undertakings which do not respect the religious traditions of the area.
The Director of the Cultural Heritage Division of UNESCO's Culture Sector reported to the Committee that assurances have been given by the Government that APSARA will vigorously screen all development projects and ensure that the zoning regulations are strictly adhered to. He also provided an update on the projects being carried out by the international teams, notably the Japanese team from Waseda University and the French team, from the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient. He also expressed his hope that the much appreciated training programme at the Fine Arts University in Phnom Penh which is funded under the Japan Trust Fund could be continued for the next academic year to ensure the development of a new generation of national experts. In the field of promotional activities he reported on the progress in the preparation of a major exhibition on Angkor being organized by UNESCO and the French 'Reunion des Musees Nationals' in Paris in 1998 as well as in the production of the CD-Rom on the exhibition. He informed the Committee that this exhibition will also be held in Washington D.C. He furthermore reported that the second edition of the successful publication '100 Disappeared Objects' is being updated with ICOM. The Committee commended the work of UNESCO in supporting the efforts of the Cambodian Government.
The Delegate of Japan added that Japan continues its support for the safeguarding of Angkor and emphasized the importance of training in this respect.
The Committee took note of the report presented by the Secretariat and commended the Government of Cambodia for its actions to implement the obligations set forth by the Committee at the time of inscription of Angkor on the World Heritage List. The Committee requested the Government of Cambodia to keep it informed of the progress made in its efforts to ensure the preservation of Angkor, especially concerning tourism control and promotion, and with regard to sustainable development, in harmony with the socio-cultural character of the region. Recognizing the still-prevailing exceptional conditions at the site, the Committee decided to retain Angkor on the List of World Heritage in Danger.