Saudi Arabia elected to UNESCO's world heritage committee

Madain Saleh became Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. (SPA)
Updated 29 November 2019

Saudi Arabia elected to UNESCO's world heritage committee

  • The announcement comes a week after the Kingdom was elected to the UN heritage body’s executive board for 2019-2023
  • There are five sites in Saudi Arabia that are currently on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

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.


Preserving heritage means securing the future, says Princess Haifa

Updated 05 July 2020

Preserving heritage means securing the future, says Princess Haifa

  • Saudi Arabia is at the 209th session to discuss international issues related to the fields of education, science and culture

PARIS: Princess Haifa bint Abdul Aziz Al-Muqrin, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to UNESCO, said that changes can only be faced with global efforts to achieve the common goals of promoting peace, building cultural bridges between nations, and empowering societies to guarantee a better future.

Saudi Arabia recently participated in the 209th session of the UNESCO Executive Council at the agency’s Paris headquarters. The Kingdom was represented at the session by Princess Haifa and a team of 26 Saudi experts from different sectors that have activities related to the scope of UNESCO’s work, such as education, culture, energy, environment, and training.

Princess Haifa said: “Despite our different cultures and languages, we share our belief that education is a right for everyone, that preserving heritage means securing the future, and that innovation and science are the bridge that will pull us out of this pandemic the world today is living.”

She said that the Kingdom supported African countries and was ready to share its experiences in various UNESCO fields, in addition to supporting action plans related to developing islands as one of its priorities in exchanging experiences, especially since the Kingdom is one of the most advanced countries in the world in the field of water desalination.

Reference was made to the Kingdom’s support for international growth and stability through the G20 presidency, specifically with regard to ensuring the continuity of education in crises, the continuation of efforts to achieve climate adaptation worldwide, and solidarity with the members of the G20 in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a member state of the UNESCO Executive Council, Saudi Arabia is at the 209th session to discuss international issues related to the fields of education, science and culture. These will be evaluated and decided upon, and the executive decisions assigned to them will be voted on, in cooperation with the council’s member states.

The Kingdom’s participation in the meetings of the UNESCO Executive Council also comes as part of its permanent presence in the international cultural and educational organization since its foundation in 1946.