Posted on June 27, 2011

Over 400 UNESCO delegates attended an event on Monday 20 June 2011,  to introduce Qatar’s candidature to the World Heritage Committee. The event highlighted Qatar’s most prominent heritage sites and cultural institutions including: Zubara Fort, Barzan Tower, Souq Waqif, Katara, Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art as well as the future National Museum of Qatar.

HE Sheikh Hassan Bin Mohammad Al Thani, Vice Chairman of Qatar Museums Authority and Ambassador Ali Zainal, Qatar’s Permanent Representative at UNESCO and Abdulla Al Najjar, CEO of Qatar Museums Authority were all present at the event.  Ambassador Ali Zainal delivered the opening remarks which conveyed Qatar’s ambition to be elected to the World Heritage Committee.  This was followed by a introduction by Abdulla Al Najjar about Qatar’s efforts in conserving heritage and promoting cultural institutions of excellence.  This was followed by a short film which featured several heritage sites and cultural institutions in Qatar.

Qatar has presented its candidature to the World Heritage Committee and elections will be held next October.

Qatar’s candidature to the World Heritage Committee highlights its commitment to fulfill the World Heritage Committee (WHC) goals and to support the initiatives that will augment WHC strategic initiatives. Qatar believes that its membership of the WHC will contribute towards elevating the quality of cooperation, dialogue and action aimed at promotion and conservation of World Heritage sites.

Commenting on the announcement, H.E. Mr. Ali Zainal, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to UNESCO said:  “I am honored to present Qatar Candidature for the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee membership is an ideal opportunity to further enhance Qatar’s cultural involvement on an international level.  We believe that promoting and conversing world heritage sites are of the highest importance to us and we aim to gain a seat on UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to play an active role in sustaining historical sites treasured by all humankind.”

Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) has been involved in leading the nation’s effort in bidding for a seat on UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee.  Qatar has never been member of the WHC, and has no property inscribed on the world heritage list.

The World Heritage Committee is an intergovernmental committee, establishes the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, and it is made up of 21 member states they are: Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Iraq, Jordan, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.