The Closing Event of the Celebration of the 40th Anniversary
of the World Heritage Convention
Overview and Evaluation
November 9, 2012
- (1) The Closing Event of the Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention was held on November 6-8, 2012, in Kyoto, home to one of Japan’s World Heritage sites. The event was hosted by the Government of Japan, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Ministry of the Environment, and the Forestry Agency, with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre as co-organizer.
- (2) This event, designed to reflect on the achievements and future evolution of the World Heritage Convention, capped the numerous events that had been held in many parts of the world in commemoration of the 40th anniversary.
- (3) The event was attended by some 560 people from 60 countries, including Mrs. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO; Mr. Kishore Rao, Director of the World Heritage Centre; H.E. Mr. Sok An, Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee and Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia; H.E. Dr. Arūnas Gelūnas, Lithuanian Minister of Culture and other government officials from States Parties to the Convention; representatives from other international organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); as well as international experts and stakeholders in World Heritage conservation from Japan and other countries. Extensive discussions were held under the overarching theme of the 40th anniversary: “World Heritage and Sustainable Development: the Role of Local Communities.” The discussions culminated in the outcome document titled the Kyoto Vision, which was presented on the closing day of the event.
- (1) Japan enhanced its presence in UNESCO as well as in the field of World Heritage by organizing the event that capped off the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, which drew major stakeholders in the field of World Heritage, including UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, the current and former directors of the World Heritage Centre; and renowned experts such as the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee; and which heard a commemorative speech from Dr. Genshitsu Sen, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. Moreover, Japan made it widely known to the world that the country has been making proactive international contributions to the protection of cultural and natural heritage. As a Member State of the World Heritage Committee since November last year, Japan impressed the world with its firm commitment to the World Heritage Convention.
- (2) The Kyoto Vision, which was released on the closing day, confirmed that both the approach of sustainability and the involvement of local communities at World Heritage sites are essential in the implementation of the Convention going forward. It called on the international community to take a number of actions to that end, including mobilizing financial resources on a global scale; enhancing cooperation among communities at all levels that are involved in World Heritage; and involving local communities, experts and the youth in the World Heritage conservation process from the early stages. The statement thus outlined future directions for the Convention.
Back to Index