The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage holds its 12th Governing Board Meeting


The members of the Governing Board of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) held its 12th meeting on Monday, 13 February 2023, in the presence of His Excellency Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of ARC-WH, and Dr.Heba Abdulaziz, Director of ARC-WH. The meeting was held virtually with the attendance of several representatives of Arab State Parties, the World Heritage Centre, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the African World Heritage Fund.

His Excellency Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa welcomed all attendees in the Kingdom of Bahrain and those present remotely, stressing that ARC-WH is one of the most important institutions that preserve World Heritage in the Arab region through its objective to communicate with local and international partners, promoting joint work among Arab experts and spreading awareness about the importance of World Heritage and its role in the development of societies. His Excellency expressed his condolences to Turkey and Syria due to the recent earthquakes, stressing that ARC-WH stands with all those affected, as well as the heritage sites damaged during the natural event, and called for urgent support to local communities. He added that ARC-WH would utilize its expertise and capabilities to safeguard the cultural and humanitarian heritage of the two countries impacted by the earthquakes.

His Excellency also congratulated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its success in obtaining the chairmanship of the World Heritage Committee headed by Princess Haifa bint Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Ayyaf Al Muqrin, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO, and hosting the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He also congratulated Lebanon and Yemen on the successful inscription of the Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli (Lebanon) and the Landmarks of the Ancient Kingdom of Saba, Maribon (Yemen), to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The meeting shed light on the achievements of ARC-WH during 2022, which included a number of programmes and activities such as capacity-building workshops, public events and lectures, technical support for Arab countries, publications and translations, exhibitions, conferences and meetings. ARC-WH was also present in many Arab and European countries through participation in conferences, seminars, and workshops, such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, France, Italy, Spain, and others.

During the meeting, the Action Plan for 2023 was presented. It was created in line with the Periodic Reporting for the Arab States, the Centre's Strategic Objectives, and the Sustainable Development Goals. ARC-WH seeks to assist the Arab States in the implementation of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, promote the preservation of World Heritage sites and protect those sites registered on the World Heritage List in danger.