Saudi Arabia was elected to UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Committee for the first time during the 22nd General Assembly of the State Parties after winning the membership in the UNESCO Executive Board for 2019-2023. The UNESCO Executive board comprises of 58 member states.Key Points:
i.Saudi Arabia has five sites that are currently included in the World Heritage Sites List Madain Saleh in Al-Ula, the Turaif district in Diriyah, the historic area in Jeddah, rock paintings in Jubbah and Shuwaymis and the oasis of Al-Ahsa.
ii.The list of other countries included in the World Heritage Committee are Egypt, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Oman, Thailand, the Russian Federation and South Africa.
iii. The current members of the World Heritage Committee are Australia, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Guatemala, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Spain and Uganda.
iv.The World Heritage Committee acts as the final authority to decide the sites and properties to be included in the World Heritage Sites and is also responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. The members of the Committee are elected by the General Assembly of States Parties for a four-year term.
v.The 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee was held in Baku, Azerbaijan in the year 2019 and the 44th session is to be held in Fuzhou, China in the year 2020.
About UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization):
Formation- 4 November 1946
Headquarters- Paris, France
Parent Organization- United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)