The “Closing Event of the Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention”, hosted by the Government of Japan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, and Forestry Agency), and co-organized with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, was held on three days from November 6th to 8th. The World Heritage Convention was adopted in 1972, and the World Heritage List includes 962 sites, such as the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, and the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. The number of the State Parties to the Convention has reached 190.
At the Opening Session, Ambassador Masuo Nishibayashi, the Chairperson of the Event, made opening remarks, saying that “we will consider the present, the past, and the future of the World Heritage, so we can ensure that the Convention will continue to play its role”. Following that, Mrs. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO stated, “The World Heritage Convention has been a model of international cooperation. It has been becoming itself our common heritage that to be protected for future generations”. In front of the conference room (Room A), a picture panels exhibition and films on Japanese World Heritage sites in Japan were on show.
Approximately 600 people from over 60 countries participated in the three days Closing Event. As the fruit of discussions, the Kyoto Vision was launched, proclaiming the importance of the involvement of local communities for the conservation of World Heritage.
A new step to the next 10 years was marked. In the ever-changing world, the balance between sustainable development and the conservation of World Heritage will be more and more important.