Silk Roads Heritage Corridors in Afghanistan, Central Asia and Iran – International Dimension of the European Year of Cultural Heritage Third Steering Committee Meeting

The Third Steering Committee Meeting of the EU-funded project, “Silk Roads Heritage Corridor- International Dimension of the European Year of Culture”, has been conducted virtually on 22 October 2020. The Steering Committee includes representatives of the participating countries, mostly from the Ministries of Culture and National Commissions for UNESCO, or other relevant national bodies, members of the EU delegations to the participating countries, the Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) and UNESCO representatives.

Dr. Talebian, deputy for Cultural Heritage and Mr. Teymouri, Deputy for Tourism from Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft, have attended this meeting as the Islamic Republic of Iran’ representatives. Mr. Cvetan Cvetkovski, Officer-in-Charge, UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, has also participated in the meeting.

In the framework of the EU-funded project, “Silk Roads Heritage Corridor- International Dimension of the European Year of Culture”, UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office supports the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the preservation of cultural heritage, with strong focus on heritage-based tourism development, diversification of tourism products and delivery of high-quality visitor experiences along Silk Roads heritage sites.

This project is jointly implemented by UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and the Ministry of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts (MCHTH), with financial support of the European Union.

In Iran, this project adopts a comprehensive approach to the preservation of Silk Roads Heritage Corridors, including a broad range of interventions revolving around 5 main themes:

a) Heritage preservation and promotion

b) Heritage education

c) Supporting the tourism industry

d) Underwater cultural heritage

e) Promotion of local products


The meeting was an opportunity for all participating countries and the donor to discuss their challenges and achievements over the last year of implementation of the project. Since March 2020, COVID-19 outbreak has affected and still remains the biggest challenge influencing the project implementation in all participating countries. Some activities have been suspended or when/if possible organised online. In general, the COVID-19 related sanitary conditions have imposed an unwanted gap in the planning and implementation of the second year activities.

During the meeting, Dr. Talebian extended his gratitude to the European Union for their support and mentioned that Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft is closely working with UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office to implement the activities under this project. He expressed their will to cooperate and look for synergies within the Silk Roads and other related projects.

The next meeting of the Steering Committee of the project was scheduled for April 2021.