RIYADH: Saudi Arabia was elected to UNESCO's World Heritage Committee for the first time on Wednesday.
The announcement comes a week after the Kingdom was elected to the UN heritage body’s executive board for 2019-2023.
“After the executive board (election), the Kingdom wins UNESCO’s World Heritage membership for the first time,” Culture Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah said in a tweet, adding: “Thank you to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince for their continuous support to the cultural sector.
“This confirms the Kingdom’s international status and its role in building peace and contributing effectively to the establishment of the principles of culture and science."
The World Heritage Committee meets once a year, and consists of representatives from 21 member states to the convention elected by the general assembly.
The committee has the final say on whether a property is added to the World Heritage List. It also examines rthe state of conservation at listed sites asks member states to take action when they are not being properly managed.
There are five sites in Saudi Arabia that are currently on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: Al-Ahsa Oasis, Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madain Saleh) in AlUla, Al-Turaif district in Diriyah, Historic Jeddah, and rock art in the Hail region.