S. Korea re-elected as member of UNESCO World Heritage Committee

SEOUL, Nov. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has been re-elected as a member state of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to a four-year term for the third time, Seoul's cultural heritage authority said Wednesday.

Seoul regained the membership during the 19th session of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage that opened at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris Tuesday for a three-day run, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration.

It marks the third time that South Korea has been elected as one of the 21 state members of the committee following 1997 and 2005. Seoul's new four-year term is set to begin Dec. 1.

"The re-election will enable the country to take a leading role in the process of deciding whether or not to inscribe cultural and natural heritage items from various countries onto UNESCO heritage lists," the government agency said.

South Korea is pushing for 29 trust fund projects worth US$17 million in many fields, including world heritage preservation. Separately from the funds, Seoul has shown its intent to donate some $60,000 to the World Heritage Fund during the Paris session, officials said.

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