UNESCO defends resolution on Australia’s coral reefs

BEIJING (AFP) – The Chinese host of a meeting of the United Nations Cultural Heritage Committee on Sunday defended the organization’s decision to label the Great Coral Reef as “endangered”, despite Australia’s suspicions that China has applied political pressure.

The committee, which meets by video and in person in the Chinese city of Fuzhou over the next two weeks, will consider the draft decision on Friday.

“Australia, as a member state of the World Heritage Committee, … should attach importance to the opinions of advisory bodies and fulfill their responsibility to protect world heritage rather than make baseless accusations against other countries,” said Tian Xiujun, Deputy Minister. Chinese education and course title this year.

The UNESCO committee will consider adding other sites to the organization’s list, and removing others that were previously considered at risk. A draft decision to put Venice on the list of places at risk led the Italian government to ban cruise ships in that city, in order to avoid such a designation.

Tian, ​​in his first press conference since the sessions began on Friday, said the decision on the reef was based on data provided by Australia and on recommendations from an advisory body.

Australia reacted angrily when the idea was published last month.

“This decision is wrong. It is clear that there are political motives behind this,” Australia’s environment minister, Susan Lee, said, without directly mentioning China.

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