UNESCO's preservation of cultural heritage in Kosovo* to the forefront as the UNESCO Executive Board “recommends that the General Conference admit the Republic of Kosovo as a member of UNESCO” (197 EX/Dec. 43)

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© UNESCO/Fabrice Gentile
21 October 2015

On 21 October, 2015, the UNESCO Executive Board recommended to the 38th session of the General Conference, by roll-call vote, the admission of Kosovo* to UNESCO. By 197 EX/Decision 43, the Executive Board “recommends that the General Conference admit the Republic of Kosovo as a member of UNESCO”.

The 38th session of the UNESCO General Conference will be held in Paris on 3-18 November, 2015.

Since early 2000, UNESCO has been actively involved in safeguarding cultural heritage and diversity in Kosovo, as embodying important testimony of the centuries-long dialogue and coexistence of different cultures and communities in the region, acting within the framework of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244.

This involves technical missions, such as those UNESCO sent to Kosovo, in March 2003, April 2004 and May 2005 -- to assess the state of conservation of monuments and sites, and to raise awareness about the need for urgent action to guarantee their preservation.

On 13 May, 2005, in close cooperation by UNMIK and the Council of Europe, UNESCO organized an International Conference of Donors for the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Kosovo, in Paris, to seek funding for the protection of the cultural heritage and diversity in Kosovo, resulting in financial support from Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Russian Federation, Turkey, United States of America, as well as the European Union.

UNESCO has led the physical reconstruction and restoration of cultural heritage monuments – notably, at the World Heritage Property “Medieval Monuments in Kosovo*”, the Dečani Monastery, the Pec Patriarchate, The Monastery of Gracanica and the Bogorodica Ljeviska church of Prizren.

Over the last decade, UNESCO has, with UNMIK, undertaken dozens of missions to Kosovo, to follow the implementation of these activities and to monitor the situation of World Heritage properties in Kosovo in terms of conservation and security.

*Within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 1244, dated 1999