Sri Lanka was unanimously elected to two Committees of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the elections that took place on November 14 which was also the sixty fourth (64th) anniversary of Sri Lanka joining UNESCO on 14th November 1949.
Sri Lanka was elected to the Headquarters Committee, which, since its establishment in 1949, has been mandated with advising the Director General of UNESCO on all matters concerning the Headquarters of the Organization and is tasked with providing suggestions, guidance and recommendations. Sri Lanka will serve a four year term on the twenty four (24) member Committee, until the 39th session of the General Conference in 2017.
Sri Lanka was also elected to the Intergovernmental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property to its Countries of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation (ICPRCP) for a four (4) year term. The Intergovernmental Committee is chiefly tasked with facilitating and promoting negotiations and cooperation in the restitution and return of cultural property to their countries of origin. Sri Lanka accepted the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, in 1981 and the significance of joining the twenty two (22) member Intergovernmental Committee is the role the country would play is assisting countries which have lost, through various means, tangible portions of their heritage.
The elections took place at the 37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO which is being held from 5th to 20th November 2013.