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Ukraine elected to UNESCO World Heritage Committee for the first time

by Martin Fornusek November 23, 2023 4:27 PM 2 min read
UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, on Oct. 11, 2017. (Chesnot/Getty Images)
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Ukraine was among the nine countries elected to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee during the Nov. 22 vote for the first time in history.

The country submitted its candidacy in July last year. Ukraine is joining the other 20 members and will hold the seat on the Committee for the period 2023-2027.

"This is a historic event for Ukraine and an important step in the development and protection of the cultural and natural heritage of Ukraine," acting Culture Minister Rostyslav Karandieiev said.

A place on the Committee opens up new opportunities for Ukraine's active participation in implementing the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the Ukrainian Culture Ministry said.

In particular, it presents a chance to include new sites on the World Heritage List and the World Heritage in Danger.

Russia's war against Ukraine inflicted substantial damage to the country's cultural heritage, such as Odesa's historical city center. As of Nov. 15, 329 cultural sites have been damaged by Russian attacks on Ukraine, UNESCO said.

The Convention, ratified by Ukraine in 1988, promotes the effective protection and preservation of the world's cultural and natural heritage.

"We thank the countries participating in the Convention for their expressed solidarity in support of Ukraine. Now more than ever, it is important to unite and protect our cultural heritage," Karandieiev commented.

UNESCO saw another "historic" election result last week, when, for the first time, Russia failed to win a seat on the UNESCO Executive Board.

Anna Husarska: Expel Russia from UNESCO
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been particularly angry lately, and the Ukrainian port city of Odesa has been suffering the consequences. In the Kremlin’s neo-imperial view, Odesa has long been a symbol of the Russian character of Ukraine’s south, because its initial development was…

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