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UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization




Republic of Korea

  • © UNESCO
  • Pansori singer

Cooperation between the Republic of Korea and UNESCO concerns cultural heritage first and foremost.

The country has seven cultural sites and one natural site inscribed on the World Heritage List and contributes generously to the World Heritage Fund. The Korean Government has also assisted the neighbouring People’s Democratic Republic of Korea in restoring the Koguryo tombs.

Korea is very active in the field of intangible heritage, regarding its own intangible heritage and its support for UNESCO's programmes. The Royal Ancestral Ritual in the Jongymo Shrine and its Music joined the ranks of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2001, followed by the Pansori Epic Chant in 2003 and the Gangneung Danoje Festival in 2005. The Republic of Korea has a system of Living Human Treasures and assists Cambodia and Fiji in establishing their own systems through a funds-in-trust. It also gives financial support to establish an inventory of traditional children's toys in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Republic of Korea is concerned with protecting cultural diversity and preserving its own cultures.

The Republic of Korea regards the cultural industries as an instrument of sustainable development and is concerned to promote projects in the framework of the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity. The country’s support for DigiArts and arts education demonstrates the value it attaches to the arts. In the framework of the Seal of Excellence programme, the Republic of Korea supports its own handicrafts.

The Republic of Korea and UNESCO also cooperate in the area of dialogue through the programme entitled Intercultural Dialogue in Central Asia. The country is a member of the International Institute for Central Asian Studies, which aims to encourage intellectual cooperation between Member States of the region.

Moreover, the country is involved in the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property and is a member of the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in case of Illicit Appropriation.

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