Saturday, 12 February 2011

UNESCO names former director-general Koichiro Matsuura as special envoy on Preah Vihear

via CAAI

PARIS, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has named its former director- general Koichiro Matsuura as special envoy to address the issue of Preah Vihear, the Paris-based UN cultural branch announced on Friday.

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO has informed Cambodia and Thailand about the mission of Matsuura.

Matsuura will "visit Bangkok and Phnom Penh to discuss how the World Heritage site can be safeguarded" and "examine with both sides how to lessen tension and promote dialogue around the preservation of the Temple," according to a statement issued by UNESCO.

Bokova expressed concerns over the protection of the Preah Vihear Temple, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008 but sparked clashes between Thailand and Cambodia, both claiming sovereignty over the antique temple.

Recent military confrontations on the border between the two states have caused deaths and injuries, as well as damages to the temple.

UNESCO called on Cambodia and Thailand to respect the World Heritage Convention of 1972, as both are signatories to the convention.

Editor: yan

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