Nine new members have been elected to the 21-member United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization committee charged with overseeing the World Heritage List of cultural and natural wonders, UNESCO announced today.
Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, China, Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria and Sweden were each elected to four-year terms during the General Assembly of the 184 States Parties to the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, held in Paris.
The new members of the World Heritage Committee replace Benin, Chile, India, Japan, Kuwait, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway and the Netherlands, whose terms expired this year. The terms of Canada, Cuba, Israel, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Peru, Spain, the Republic of Korea, Tunisia and the United States will expire in 2009.
The committee meets every year to inscribe sites on the World Heritage List and to review the state of sites already on the List and whether action needs to be taken to support their safeguarding. It also maintains the List of World Heritage in Danger.
There are currently 851 cultural or natural sites on the World Heritage List, and they are situated in 141 countries.