Morocco and UNESCO sign an agreement for the preservation of intangible heritage

On the sidelines of the work of the 17th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, and the Director General of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay, signed, this Tuesday, November 29, 2022 in Rabat, an agreement between Morocco and UNESCO for the preservation and recognition of the tangible and intangible heritage of the Kingdom.

The work of the 17th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Unesco was launched on Monday in Rabat, under the aegis of Morocco, with the participation of several ministers and representatives from 180 countries, as well as UNESCO officials. This Tuesday, a new agreement was signed to this effect between Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid and Audrey Azoulay on the recognition of Moroccan tangible and intangible heritage by UNESCO.

“Today, Morocco signed an important agreement with UNESCO. This agreement represents first of all an implicit recognition because Morocco today has a great experience in terms of tangible and intangible heritage, and this is mainly due to the policies that the Kingdom has adopted under the aegis of King Mohammed VI”, said Bensaid.

You know the importance we attach to ancient cities and the field of heritage in Morocco, which has enabled the Kingdom today to maintain a very important experience“, explains the Minister, adding that “ Ihe challenge today is to allow other countries on the African continent to benefit from this experience in the South-South cooperation framework“.

Bensaid continues: Yesterday there was an official announcement concerning the National Center for Intangible Heritage, which is an achievement made for the first time in Morocco and even at the level of other countries because few nations work on this type of heritage.“.

For the Minister, the role of this center is to preserve and protect our history and Moroccan intangible heritage. In addition, this center will become a support for UNESCO in the coming years.

“Our heritage is recognized by all, all the countries that are present here in Rabat. We can see the work done by the authorities, the governments and the Ministry of Culture in the field of the preservation of its heritage which has been recognized once again”, he adds.

To conclude, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid underlined that this area is also important in the tourism sector. ” We are talking about national tourism, and it is tourism that is not only based on the sea or the sun, but also on our history and our culture. So as long as we preserve this tangible and intangible heritage, we will always have an investment in the tourism sector which is important in the national economy.“.

For her part, Audrey Azoulay indicated that the signed agreement will thus allow Morocco to help UNESCO as well as other African countries to train experts to protect and include new sites on the World Heritage List, and this concerns mainly African countries that do not have recognized sites. ” Morocco represents a model in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage in Africa, and its experience will enable it to train new actors to identify and list new sites.“, she says.

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