The World Heritage Youth Forum kicked off in Siem Reap on Sunday June 9, to raise awareness of heritage protection among youth and to give an opportunity to exchange ideas on how to become involved in heritage, said Hun Many, chairman of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia.
He added, “The forum will also be a platform for experience sharing, recognition and appreciation of cultural diversity whereby the universal value of the world heritage is observed.”
The five-day forum, themed, "Living Heritage: Temple, Environment and People", brought together youths from 16 countries, according to a joint statement from the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia, the Cambodian National Commission for Unesco, and the Apsara Authority.
Twenty Cambodian youth delegates attended, together with 18 international youth delegates from the 16 represented countries.
Hun Many said the youth delegates had the opportunity to present their own national heritage to the forum and were able to discuss this with distinguished experts, as well as visiting sites in Angkor Park.
Tan Theany, secretary general of Cambodian National Commission for UNESCO said that it was of great interest to have made participants aware of their responsibilities regarding conservation and protection of national and world heritage.
Bun Narith, the director general of Apsara Authority, said delegates learned about the management of the Angkor site, where temples, environment and people “coexist harmoniously.”
At the close of the forum, the youth delegates issued a Youth Declaration, and will present this to all delegates at the opening ceremony of the 37th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Phnom Penh on Sunday, June 16.