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Liborio Stellino is the new Permanent Representative of Italy to UNESCO

ROME/PARIS, MARCH 3 – Liborio Stellino is the new Italian Permanent Representative to UNESCO, one of the most representative diplomatic outposts of Italian ‘soft power’ on account of the record number of Italian sites on the World Heritage Lists. Stellino replaced Massimo Riccardo, in office since 2018.

“Culture, Science and Education represent the foundations of a diplomacy of peace and development, which never ceases to inspire the external projection of our Country”, said the new Permanent Representative, confirming the central role that UNESCO’s agenda plays in Italian foreign policy. Italy is the first Country in terms of sites included on the World Heritage List (58), and has recently focused its attention to its Intangible Cultural Heritage, which already counts 15 registrations (truffle hunting and extraction, Mediterranean diet, Alpinism, transhumance among others). An Italian expert, Pier Luigi Petrillo, is UNESCO President of World Heritage Evaluation Body.

Member of the Executive Board since 1999 and the eighth ordinary contributor to the UNESCO budget, Italy is the top country in terms of voluntary contributions (about 30 million euros per year) to the agency, as well, and the second biggest overall contributor after Japan. Thanks to the initiative of the Blue Helmets for Culture launched in 2016, it has provided a framework to the possible course of action when culturale heritage is threatened by armed conflicts and natural disasters, while a special unit of the Carabinieri is on the front line targeting the illicit transnational trafficking of works of art. This commitment was enhanced by the recent creation of the DG Public and Cultural Diplomacy inside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano, and responsible for the external promotion of the Italian soft power. (@OnuItalia)

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