Prof. Michael Turner, Chairman of the Israel World Heritage Committee was elected as a Vice-Chairman of the worldwide UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
The Israel Foreign Ministry welcomes the election of Prof. Michael Turner, Chairman of the Israel World Heritage Committee as a Vice-Chairman of the worldwide UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The representative from Canada, which will host the Committee in 2008, was elected to serve as Chairman.
The World Heritage Committee is considered the most prestigious within the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, dealing primarily with the identification and preservation of sites of universal value (over 800 worldwide to date). Thanks to the professional work of the Israel World Heritage Committee, several sites in Israel have been included among them: Masada, the old city of Acre, the "White City" of Tel Aviv, the Biblical tels of Megiddo, Hazor, Beer Sheba, and the Nabatean incense route.
The election of Prof. Turner to this position is an outcome of the efforts by Israel to participate in international scientific and cultural action, as part of its perception as a modern Western state with democratic values, involved in the universal realms of science and culture. As part of this effort, the Israel Foreign Ministry encourages Israeli experts to take part in the professional (as opposed to diplomatic) work of the United Nations bodies.
The professional recognition and respect that Prof. Turner enjoys among the members of the World Heritage Committee led to his election as one of its Vice-Chairmen.