Cambodia was unanimously chosen to chair a Unesco committee charged with implementing a 1954 convention meant to protect cultural heritage in times of war, according to a public letter issued on Tuesday by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The decision was reached during a Unesco meeting late last week in The Hague, Mr. Hun Sen’s letter says.
“Chairmanship of this committee is a new success for our conservation policies, and the promotion of the cultural heritage of humanity…by the Royal Government of Cambodia,” it reads.
Cambodia has long been deeply involved with the committee, it adds, citing Cambodia’s permanent delegation to Unesco.
The chairmanship is for a two-year term. Cambodia’s Tourism Ministry lists two sites in the country that feature on Unesco’s World Heritage list—the Angkor Archaeological Park and Preah Vihear temple.
Several of Cambodia’s traditional art forms are also considered “intangible heritage” by the agency.
While Angkor is relatively unscarred by Cambodia’s tumultuous past, the area around Preah Vihear remains heavily militarized, and its upper complex is pocked by bullet holes from past confrontations with Thailand.