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Ukraine became a member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee

On November 22, 2023, Ukraine was elected to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for the first time.

24th General Assembly of the States Parties to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.
Photo: Official website of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention

A decision was adopted during the 24th session of the General Assembly of the State Parties to the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

“This is a historic event for Ukraine and an important step in developing and protecting Ukraine’s cultural and natural heritage. We thank the Convention’s member countries for their expressed solidarity in supporting Ukraine. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to come together to protect our cultural heritage,” stated the Acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Rostyslav Karandieiev.

Election to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee opens up new opportunities for Ukraine. In particular, the member states of the Committee actively participate in the decision-making regarding the use of the World Heritage Fund, as well as the inclusion of objects in the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Back in July 2022, Ukraine submitted its candidacy for election to the World Heritage Committee. During the 24th session in Paris, the General Assembly elected nine out of 21 members to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee: Ukraine, the Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Kenya, Senegal, Lebanon, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, and Türkiye. The following states will be the members of the Committee from 2023 to 2027.

Earlier this year, Russia had not been elected to the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the first time during a November 15, 2023, vote. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian troops have been regularly targeting objects of historical and cultural significance. In total, from February 2022 to October 2023, Russia has either destroyed or damaged 835 objects of cultural heritage in Ukraine.