The World Heritage Committe of UNESCO meeting in St Petersburg, Russia, this morning discussed the state of conservation of cultural heritage in Palestine. Earlier in the meeting UNESCO approved the first site of Palestine as World Heritage: Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. The Ambassador of Palestine to UNESCO in his concluding remarks to the meeting attended by over one hundred and fifty countries and with about one thousand delegates thanked all those countries that have helped Palestine to safeguard their cultural heritage and 'in particular the Government of Malta for helping us substantially in establishing a National Charter for the Protection of the Palestinian Cultural Heritage'.
Last year a Workshop was held in Bethlehem to discuss a National Charter. This workshop was financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was held in collaboration with UNDP and ICCROM and the Ministry of Tourism of Palestine which is responsible also for cultural affairs. A second meeting is being held later on this year.