CNLG welcomes addition of Genocide memorials on World Heritage List
Four Genocide memorial have been added to the list of World Heritage Sites by UN cultural agency, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO). The sites are Kigali Genocide Memorial, Ntarama Genocide site in Bugesera District, Murambi and Bisesero memorial sites.
The process was on for some time but it came to fruition in recent days.
All the four sites hold significant history about the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi whose conservation and protection is crucial.
“Initially the list we wanted to send to UNESCO was long, but we revised it to the four memorial sites which have stronger stories. For example the Murambi Memorial site, Genocide in Murambi started way back in 1960s,” the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), Jean de Dieu Mucyo, told The New Times at the weekend.
He added that “we want the world to know what happened in Rwanda and with that we will have defeated the Genocide deniers.”
Mucyo explained that the next step is to establish memorial sites in different countries across the world.
“We want to equip them with details on the Genocide against the Tutsi and show the world population what exactly happened in our country,” he said
UNESCO World Heritage Sites include forests, mountains, lakes, deserts, monuments, buildings, or cities that are listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance.
The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and composed of 21 states parties which are elected by their General Assembly.
The programme catalogues, names, and conserves sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity.
Under certain conditions, listed sites can obtain funds from the World Heritage Fund. The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on November 16,1972. Since then, 189 states parties have ratified the convention.
What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.
World Heritage List includes 936 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value.
These include 725 cultural, 183 natural and 28 mixed properties in 153 States Parties. As of March 2012, 189 States Parties have ratified the World Heritage Convention.
Contact email: edwin.musoni[at]newtimes.co.rw