UNESCO wants to better recognize African World Heritage

The Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay, said that African World Heritage is not recognized for its historical, human and natural significance.

During the day dedicated to him, he promised to put him at the center of the strategy of the UN body he heads.

50 years ago, UNESCO member states adopted the World Heritage Convention, and in 1978 the instrument came into force for the first time with 12 sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, three of them African.

“Today, however, sub-Saharan Africa represents only one-tenth of the inscribed sites: the African heritage, whose exceptional value we celebrate today, is not yet recognized at the height of its historical significance. , human and natural “, however it is mentioned. Audrey Azoulay, in today’s news.

A universal ideal

To meet this challenge, UNESCO has placed this continent at the center of its strategy for World Heritage, he underlined.

In short, to rethink the way the Convention operates to meet the challenges it will face in the next 50 years – and finally, to achieve the universal ideal in individuality that forms the basis of World Heritage.“, she explained “Indeed through its profound integrity, its diversity and its richness the African heritage rises to become universal and challenges us.”

The UNESCO DG cited, for example, eight Sudanese-style mosques in Côte d’Ivoire that joined the World Heritage List last year – and “The foothills of the land rise up before the astonished onlookers, embodying the prosperity of the Mali Empire and the intensity of exchange, material and intellectual, that has flourished in the heart of the Sahara for centuries”.

She also cited Iwindo Park in Gabon, which was engraved last year, and “Where the wild elephant, the long-nosed crocodile and many other endangered species take refuge, they are everywhere reminders of the climate emergency facing the world”.

It is better to protect the sites

For these sites “Keep asking questions and surprising us”Audrey Azoulay pledged that UNESCO will intensify its efforts with its custodians, African countries, experts and local communities. “African sites, representing almost 40% of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List in Danger, are best preserved and will continue to serve as benchmarks for us over the next 50 years”.

“To better recognize this African heritage and enrich our world heritage, by 2025, all African countries that have submitted at least one request for inscription on the World Heritage List – with scientific and logistical support. Our organization“, she concluded.

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