Qatar elected for seat on UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee
Paris, 16 November 2011 – Qatar has won a seat to join 20 other nations that form the World Heritage Committee at UNESCO following election results that took place at the 18th General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention. Led by Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) and in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Qatar’s permanent delegation at UNESCO, the candidature effort was announced last June during a presentation at UNESCO of Qatar’s most prominent heritage sites and cultural institutions including: Zubara Fort, Barzan Tower, Souq Waif, Katara, Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art as well as the future National Museum of Qatar.
Commenting on the importance of this achievement for Qatar, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums Authority stated: “We are proud of this historical accomplishment for Qatar, which enables us to join other member states in conserving world heritage sites. We look forward to an active 4-year membership on UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee which we will use as a platform to promote heritage and cultural sites in Qatar to international audiences.”
His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Vice Chairman of Qatar Museums Authority said: “Our membership at UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee reflects the rising role of Qatar in international organizations and we are proud to have gained the trust of the member states at UNESCO. Over the next four years, we will cooperate with the World Heritage Committee member states to educate, promote and conserve heritage sites from all over the world.”
His Excellency Sheikh Hassan Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Vice Chairman of Qatar Museums Authority will represent Qatar in the future meetings of the World Heritage Committee for the next four years. Since the mid-1980s HE Sheikh Hassan Al Thani has developed a serious relationship with appreciating and collecting fine art. Over the years, he became the founder and visionary for several collections and institutions currently under the management of QMA such as Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. In addition to his role at QMA, HE Sheikh Hassan Al Thani is the Advisor of Cultural Affairs at Qatar Foundation and the General Supervisor of Documents and Research Department at the Qatari Amiri Diwan.
QMA has spearheaded efforts to promote Qatar’s bid to obtain a seat on UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee which meets once a year to discuss the state of conservation of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and to add new sites to the List. It is made up of 21 member states: Algeria, Cambodia, Colombia, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.