Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sok An said Cambodia would have a long-term interest in the protection of the country’s monuments, culture and heritage.
During a press conference yesterday morning at Cambodia’s Council of Ministers building on Russian Boulevard, the deputy prime minister said Cambodia had come a long way since the killing fields and was working to create an atmosphere for sustainable tourism and protection of monuments.
“You can see the heritage of Angkor on our flag,” he said. “After the liberation from the genocidal regime, we have come a long way to be host and chairman of the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee.”
With the arrival of an estimated 350 journalists along with the WHC delegation, the deputy prime minister said hosting the WHC delegation was an excellent opportunity for Cambodian people to show their history and culture.
“We are proud of the preservation of our cultural heritage in the Kingdom of Cambodia with sustainable development,” he said, “This is the time to show our history and culture.”
The deputy prime minister, who also serves as the chairman of the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee on Cambodia’s behalf, said the people who are coming to Cambodia for the first time will be confronted with the reality of Cambodia.
“The visitors can say to their friends and relatives the reality of Cambodia, the richness of the culture, all kinds of tangible and intangible heritage. This is a very precious message we want visitors to take home with them,” he said.
“Tourism is important for Cambodia and now we are expending to eco-tourism,” he said. “This is also a very good opportunity for visitors to understand our culture. We want to show to the world that Cambodia is really the Kingdom of Wonder and you can see that by our attachment to our culture and heritage,” he said.
He said studies were being carried out on how to keep all the monuments like Angkor in good condition, given the growing numbers of visitors each year.
Which States Parties are currently Members of the Committee?
The 21 State members of the current World Heritage Committee are the following (with the date of termination of current mandate):
Russian Federation (2013)
South Africa (2013)
United Arab Emirates (2013)
Tentative program for the closing ceremony of the 37th Session of the World Heritage Committee
Date : Thursday, June 27, 2013
Venue : Elephant Terrace, Angkor
Arrival of Honorable National and International participants of the 37th Session of the World Heritage Committee
Arrival of Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the 37th Session of WHC
Announcement of Ceremony
Welcome remarks by the Governor of Siem Reap Province
Reports of the Secretariat of the National Organizing Committee
Remarks of the Representative of the Director-General of UNESCO,
Closing remarks by Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the 37th Session of WHC
Farwell reception at the Elephant Terrace (Angkor Park) with cultural performance