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Finland strengthens its support to World Heritage and Media Development

On 14 November, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and His Excellency Mr. Okko Pekka Salmimies, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Finland to UNESCO signed two agreements by which Finland will contribute 200,000 Euros to the World Heritage Fund, to assist developing countries in the field of conservation and management of natural and mixed World Heritage sites and 200,000 Euros to the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

Irina Bokova expressed her deep appreciation to Finland for its continuous support to UNESCO’s mandate and activities and underlined the importance of the funding provided for international assistance in World Heritage management and for IPDC, currently chaired by Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen, from Finland.

“Since its creation in 1980, the IPDC has channeled more than US$ 100 million to over 1600 media development projects in some 140 countries” said the Director-General. Í am deeply grateful to Finland for its commitment to underpin this essential work, as well as to the World Heritage Fund.”

“The threats to the World Heritage sites are ever increasing, as can also be noted from the World Heritage Committee's State of Conservation reports” said Ambassador Salmimies. “That is why Finland wants to focus this additional contribution for the benefit of conservation and management of sites in developing countries. We believe that by raising capacities, we will also reduce the risk for these sites to be inscribed in the endangered list”.

Ambassador Salmimies underlined also Finland’s support to IPDC since the inception of the programme highlighting its commitment to freedom of expression, safety of journalists and open media.

On this occasion, Ambassador Salmimies transmitted a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs addressed to the Director-General congratulating her on her reelection and reaffirming Finland’s full support to the reform of UNESCO.