The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) has joined the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC), an international non-governmental organization that gathers around 250 cities possessing sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The affiliation ceremony was held via videoconference on August 7. During the ceremony, the OWHC presented the certificate of membership to the Macao SAR, which was represented by the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Ao Ieong U.
Macao’s membership in the OWHC will facilitate access to international information on World Heritage preservation and participation in relevant events learning from one another’s experience with respect to the preservation of world heritage properties, thereby further raising Macao’s international profile as a World Heritage city. The “Ceremony of the Affiliation of Macao Special Administrative Region in the OWHC” was presided over by the Vice President of the OWHC, Huang Yong.
Speaking on the occasion, Jacek Majchrowski, President, OWHC and Mayor of Krakow, Poland, said, “Macao is a rare example of a place where the aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technical influences of East and West have met for several centuries, and that he is very happy to welcome Macao to the OWHC, as a symbol of unity, an example of assimilation and coexistence of Eastern and Western culture.”
Ao Ieong U, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture expressed her happiness for having the opportunity to witness the official inclusion of Macao as a member city of the OWHC, adding that the “Historic Centre of Macao” is not only a testimony to the city’s historical development, but also a crucial cultural resource that lays the cultural ground for and nurtures the city’s future advancement, setting the foundations for further strengthening reciprocal exchange and cooperation in the future and to continue to aspire to higher standards for the preservation works of the cultural heritage in Macao.
The committee member of the Cultural Heritage Committee, Leong Chong In, spoke at the ceremony that the “Historic Centre of Macao” is the epitome of cultural integration, adding that community awareness of heritage preservation in Macao has grown increasingly stronger over the past years, and, in particular, the younger generation have been proactively engaging in the preservation process, thus enabling heritage preservation to pass on to future generations as a major undertaking. In the ceremony, the Secretary General of the OWHC, Lee Minaidis, announced Macao’s official membership and presented the certificate to the Macao SAR Government.
The Organisation of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) aims to facilitate the implementation of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (hereinafter designated as “World Heritage Convention”), to encourage the exchange of expertise between member cities on matters of cultural heritage preservation and management, and to further motivate cooperation regarding the protection of World Heritage.
Since the inscription of the Historic Centre of Macao on the World Heritage List in 2005, the Macao SAR Government has been proactively fulfilling the responsibilities set forth in the World Heritage Convention and strengthening exchange with other cities in regard to World Heritage preservation. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the inscription of the Historic Centre of Macao, and the Cultural Affairs Bureau is hosting a series of celebratory events to promote the concept of “Protecting and Appreciating Our World Heritage Together” among the public.
The Affiliation of Macao Special Administrative Region ceremony in the OWHC Ceremony was attended by the key dignitaries and representatives.