Emad Khalil- UNESCO Meeting of State Parties and other events

This funding presented the oppotunity to attend a number of events in Paris between June 12th and 16th, 2023.

  1. Exchange Day” on major current issues concerning underwater cultural heritage (12/6/2023). It included several presentations in the framework of the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences.
  2. Ninth session of the Meeting of States Parties to the 2001 Convention (13-14/6/2023), which included various discussions on the operational guidelines of the 2001 convention of UCH which aim to encourage countries to ratify the convention. Also, a report was presented about the archaeological mission carried out in Skerki. Moreover, it included presentations by NGOs concerned with UCH.
  3. Fourteenth meeting of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body (STAB) (15/6/2023). During the meeting, a new President of STAB was elected, and reports were presented about the STAB archaeological missions, and the nominations of UCH sites for best practices. It also included a lecture by Vladimir Ryabinin the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.
  4. Meeting of the UNITWIN Network for Underwater Archaeology (16/6/2023). The meeting included accepting new members to the network and discussing aspects of collaboration between members with regard to databases of professionals and institutions working in the field of UCH.

The meetings and the discussions attended were a great opportunity to learn about numerous activities and projects that are taking place around the world in the field of UCH. It was also a chance to discuss some controversial issues such as legal claims of ownership of shipwrecks, treasure hunting, etc. Moreover, several countries proposed UCH for nomination as Best Practice, which was a great opportunity to see how such sites were managed and presented to the public. On the other hand, the discussions that took place about the link between UCH and other Ocean Sciences were very fruitful and eye-opening. Networking is also a key point for sharing experiences, particularly with countries with less experience in UCH.

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