ICC-Angkor marks 25th year

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Niem Ch­heng

THE In­ter­na­tional Co­or­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee for the Safe­guard­ing and Devel­op­ment of the His­toric Site of Angkor (ICC-Angkor) kicked off its two-day ple­nary ses­sions in Siem Reap on Tues­day to mark the 25th an­niver­sary of its for­ma­tion and its 31st tech­ni­cal ses­sion.

Prime Min­is­ter Hun Sen, who at­tended the open­ing ses­sion, said pre­serv­ing cul­tural her­itage should not be mixed with pol­i­tics.

The high-level com­mem­o­ra­tion was also at­tended by Unesco di­rec­tor-gen­eral Au­drey Azoulay, who was vis­it­ing Cam­bo­dia for the first time, and diplo­mats from Ja­pan and France. King Norodom Si­ha­moni was sched­uled to close the ses­sion.

Min­is­ter of Cul­ture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sack­ona opened the ses­sion say­ing: “Now, Angkor World Her­itage doesn’t face in­se­cu­rity, tem­ple col­lapses, or loot­ing of an­tiq­ui­ties.

“But we meet other chal­lenges such as cli­mate change, en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion, new habi­ta­tion in the Angkor pro­tected area, man­age­ment of tourist flow and so forth that need so­lu­tions and pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures for now and the fu­ture.”

Azoulay said: “This suc­cess comes through in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion with experts from France, Ja­pan, Unesco and the Royal Gov­ern­ment of Cam­bo­dia, rep­re­sented by the Ap­sara Author­ity.”

“We need to con­trol the flow of tourists through dig­i­tal means. Unesco will fully co­op­er­ate to en­sure Angkor doesn’t be­come a vic­tim of our suc­cess in the fu­ture. What we are do­ing here now rep­re­sents our suc­cess.”

In his re­marks, Hun Sen said the suc­cess of the ICC-Angkor in pre­serv­ing world her- itage comes at a time when the King­dom is pre­par­ing to cel­e­brate the 40th an­niver­sary of na­tional lib­er­a­tion from the Pol Pot regime, and the 20th an­niver­sary of his win­win pol­icy to bring peace to Cam­bo­dia.

“This achieve­ment can­not be sep­a­rated from the peace and po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity that en­ables Cam­bo­dia to con­tinue pre­serv­ing and de­vel­op­ing its cul­tural her­itage, sus­tain its so­cial and na­tional eco­nomic devel­op­ment and be equal at re­gional and in­ter­na­tional lev­els,” Hun Sen said.

He said Cam­bo­dian tem­ples were sub­ject to po­lit­i­cal sanc­tions from the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity be­fore the King­dom achieved peace.

“Cul­tural her­itage in all coun­tries should not be mixed with po­lit­i­cal mat­ters,” said the prime min­is­ter.

“This is the les­son for the UN and oth­ers – that they must not use sanc­tions which af­fect cul­tural her­itage,” he said.

Hun Sen said that in the ef­fort to pre­serve the Angkor area and meet Unesco’s re­quire­ments, his gov­ern­ment had re­lo­cated peo­ple who had set­tled in the Angkor area.

“Be­fore Angkor could be listed on the world her­itage list, there were con­di­tions we needed to fol­low. For ex­am­ple, one re­quire­ment is not per­mit­ting set­tle­ment in the area,’” he said.

The prime min­is­ter said this be­comes a prob­lem for Cam­bo­dia dur­ing elec­tions when some po­lit­i­cal par­ties en­cour­age peo­ple to set­tle in the Angkor area – leav­ing the gov­ern­ment no option but to make those res­i­dents re­lo­cate.

“This is why they ac­cuse my gov­ern­ment of [be­ing a] dic­ta­tor­ship, vi­o­lat­ing hu­man rights and hous­ing rights. But they don’t know the truth.”

Hun Sen re­quested devel­op­ment part­ners, for­eign coun­tries and in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ties con­tinue to sup­port the King­dom with tech­ni­cal, fi­nan­cial and hu­man re­sources.

Unesco di­rec­tor-gen­eral Au­drey Azoulay (fourth from left) is among those who at­tended the 25th an­niver­sary of the ICC-Angkor for­ma­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cambodia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.