Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar participated, on Saturday, at a high-level meeting on the side-lines of the 44th World Heritage Committee.
The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and the National Committee for UNESCO in China.
During the meeting, titled “Heritage Education for a Sustainable Future”, Abdel Ghaffar said that Egypt is participating in the meeting as an active member of the World Heritage Committee. This is driven by the state’s belief in the importance of world heritage as the link between ancient history and the desired future.
The minister indicated that Egypt attaches great importance to the preservation of culture and heritage, as the government has taken many serious steps to highlight the richness of the country’s heritage.
He explained that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has highlighted the importance of preserving world heritage and protecting archaeological sites all over the world.
Abdel Ghaffar pointed out that the World Heritage Convention is unique, as it integrates the concepts of protecting nature and preserving cultural heritage in one document.
The agreement also emphasises the importance of the role of local communities, which is an effective tool for addressing several different issues. This includes: climate change; rapid urbanisation; mass tourism; sustainable social and economic development; facing natural disasters; and other contemporary challenges.
The minister said that world heritage education is an essential element in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He also noted that the Egyptian Government has embarked on this route since 2014, whilst noting the importance of supporting schools and universities in implementing sustainability.
He asserted that effective heritage education may help build human identity and empower citizens academically, socially and politically, as heritage is an important tool towards personal development.
Abdel Ghaffar added that his ministry has supported many initiatives and programmes in the field of heritage education, for the undergraduate and postgraduate students. This includes a joint Master’s programme in Heritage Conservation and Site Management, which grants a double degree, as well as the launch of a Master’s programme in Museum Studies.