Secretary General of the St.Kitts and Nevis National Commission for UNESCO, Mr. Antonio Maynard, represented the local Commission, (Focal point for the State Party to the 1972 UNESCO Convention) and the Government of SKN at a Seminar to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Korea’s Accession to the World Heritage Convention, held from May 1 – 4, 2018, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
According to Mr. Maynard, it was indeed a great honor to participate in this historical event, organized by the Republic of Korea that was held in the prestigious City of Seoul, capital of South Korea, with its two UNESCO World Heritage sites Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine, listed respectively in 1997 and 1995.
The event provided a meaningful time and opportunities to examine the status quo, accomplishments, challenges and prospects of the Convention, and to share ideas, thoughts and different cases, in order to seek solutions together on the complex political and governance issues on the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and examined it modus-operandi in its present state.
Several world renowned and scholarly experts and consultants on World Heritage matters were in attendance and made interventions and presentations on the tedious issues at hand. Some of the topics examined were:
- Achievements and Prospects of the World Heritage Convention,
- Review of the implementation of the World Heritage Convention at the global level, based on UNESCO’s mission and objectives.
- Changes in cultural policy and the field of heritage in the Republic of Korea since the accession to the World Heritage Convention.
- Current challenges of the World Heritage Convention and its governance, politicization of the World Heritage Convention’s decision-making process.
- Challenges and implementation of the World Heritage Convention
- Current Challenges of the implementation and governance of the World Heritage Convention in perspectives of natural heritage
- Interpretation of Sites of Memory on perspectives of human rights
- Heritage interpretation and human rights
The World Heritage Convention is universally recognized as having achieved a great deal during more than four decades of its existence. It is also known that this particular Convention is considered among the most popular International tools for the protection and conservation of World Heritage Properties both cultural and natural.
St. Kitts and Nevis was successfully elected to this World Heritage Committee, in November, 2017 – the most influential and prestigious UNESCO organ, joining the agency to sit alongside Angola, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Cuba, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Spain, Tunisia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Mr. Maynard also expresses his deep gratitude to the Minister of UNESCO affairs and Culture, Hon. Shawn Richards, Korean Authorities and in Particular, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Korean National Commission for UNESCO and ICOMOS in Korea, who extended to him this kind invitation, and who kindly sponsored his attendance and received him warmly.