|Statement by H.E. Mr. Wang Yingfan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations, at the 57th Session of the General Assembly on the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage|
It is indeed timely and necessary that the 56th session of the General Assembly has proclaimed 2002 as the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage. Cultural heritage bears witness to the development of human society, and serves as an essential carrier of human civilization. It has played a vital part in the promotion of mutual understanding among countries as well as the enhancement of communication among different cultures and civilizations. To protect and make good use of world cultural heritage is a common responsibility of all people in the world. This year, in observation of the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage, UNESCO and other agencies have been organizing a series of events and activities. UNESCO has made tremendous efforts to raise public awareness throughout the world for the protection of cultural heritage. Her efforts are getting very good results. For that, we would like to express our appreciation.
China is a country with an ancient civilization and a long history. China has numerous natural and cultural relics. They are not only invaluable heritage of the Chinese nation, but an important part of the world cultural and
natural heritage as well. The Chinese Government has always attached importance to the protection, construction, planning and management of scenic spots and places of cultural interests, as well as historic sites. She has persistently followed the guiding principle of "vigorous protection, integrated management, sound development and sustainable utilization". In the process of her economic development, China is making all efforts to preserve historic and cultural sites, and has zealously devoted herself to reconciling history with the modern times so that both may co-exist harmoniously with each other. Up to now, China has already registered 28 world cultural and natural heritage sites. China has always actively supported and participated in UNESCO's activities for the development and protection of the world cultural and natural heritage. China has already acceded to three international conventions, including the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. She has made her efforts and done her part in contributing to the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage.
Cultural heritage belongs to not only one country and one nation, but all mankind as well. To protect cultural heritage is to protect the common history of humankind. Being one of the sponsors of the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage, China stands ready to make concerted efforts with the rest of the international community to protect and make good use of the rich historic and cultural heritage of mankind.
In observation of the United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage, the Chinese Mission and UNESCO are co-sponsoring a World Cultural Heritage Photo Exhibition today. We hope that this exhibition will play an active role in fostering the protection and use of cultural heritage.
Thank you, Mr. President.