Mrs. Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UNESCO, received Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Advisor of Culture and Heritage in the Court of His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Director General of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) on the eve of the general conference of UNESCO which kicked off in Paris.
In the meeting which was held at the organization's headquarters in Paris on Sunday, the two parties discussed the Authority's long-term commitment to the consolidation of cooperation with UNESCO, which resulted in a series of initiatives that enhanced the Authority's technical capacity in the management of culture and heritage.
Bokova highlighted the leading role played by ADACH in the Arab World through its strategic projects as well as international contributions to the culture and heritage affairs.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Sami El Masri, Deputy Director-General of ADACH for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Director of Strategic Planning, Abdallah Al Nu'aymi, UAE Ambassador to UNESCO, Dr. Awad Salih, ADACH's Adviser for Strategic Affairs of International Cultural Cooperation, and Basim Qudsi, Advisor in Cultural Diplomacy. On the UNESCO side, Kishore Rao, Director of the World Heritage Centre, and Hans d'Orville, Director of Strategic Planning at UNESCO.
The ADACH delegation will hold a series of high-level meetings in Paris this week with UNESCO officials to support bilateral cooperation and implement the Authority's strategies and initiatives.
ADACH works in cooperation with UNESCO to preserve the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi and the UAE through inventorying this heritage and developing strategies for preserving it.
The Authority adopts an integrated strategy to shed light on many cultural and heritage aspects in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
During the talks, the UNESCO chief praised the ongoing efforts made by ADACH to protect, nurture and promote the cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a whole. These efforts contributed to the achievement of international recognition of the "exceptional universal value" of this culture through the inclusion of cultural sites in the City of Al Ain on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in June 2011. This came after the inclusion of falconry in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2011, thanks to the efforts of twelve Arab and foreign countries led by the UAE.
Bokova commended the universality and the importance of the ADACH's strategy and its ability to implement various initiatives in line with professional ethics and standards adopted by the UNESCO.
She also commended the outstanding efforts exerted by the Authority to realize its cultural vision for Abu Dhabi and achieve its strategy since its inception in 2005.
Bokova highlighted the importance of supporting development of the regulatory, legislative and administrative framework to protect the world heritage sites in Al Ain, in addition to the development of the Authority's technical capabilities to care for these sites. She also hailed the efforts to implement the Authority's overall strategy efficiently and within the set timetable.
For his part, Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Director General of the ADACH, attributed the Authority's success during a short period to the support and encouragement of the wise leadership and the great and unlimited attention paid by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.