Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has appointed Maria Böhmer, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, as Special Representative of the Federal Foreign Office for UNESCO World Heritage, UNESCO Cultural Conventions and UNESCO Education and Science Programmes.
In view of the fact that the terrorist group ISIS is being driven back ever further in Syria and Iraq, there is an urgent need to coordinate the international community’s endeavours to safeguard, preserve and restore world cultural heritage sites in the region at national and international level. Minister of State Böhmer will take on this role for Germany.
Minister of State Böhmer was Chairperson of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 2014 and 2015 and chaired its 39th session in Bonn with great success. Her appointment will enhance the reforms aimed at increasing the credibility and efficiency of UNESCO’s Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage as an international protection mechanism and consolidate the expertise acquired by Germany through its chairmanship of the World Heritage Committee. It will also serve to intensify the coordination and governance of international and German measures to protect and preserve cultural property and world heritage sites, as well as collaboration with the countries involved. In view of the increasing threats to world heritage sites posed by crises and conflicts, UNESCO has become more important. More than ever before, it is called upon to fulfil its role.