The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) has joined the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC), becoming the third Chinese city to be included after Suzhou and Dujiangyan.
An affiliation ceremony was held via video-conferencing in Macao on Friday, during which the city was presented with the certificate of membership.
"Macao is a rare example of a place where the aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technical influences of the East and West have met for several centuries," Jacek Majchrowski, president of the OWHC, said during the ceremony.
The strategic location of Macao has made it a significant trading port over the years. Also, the city bears witness to the fusion of diverse cultures from the East and West. Its multicultural identity can be found in the Western and Chinese-style buildings lining in the city.
Elsie Ao Ieong U, Macao's Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, said, "the Historic Centre of Macao is not only a testimony to the city's historical development but also a crucial cultural resource that lays the cultural ground for and nurtures the city's future advancement."
This year also marks the 15th anniversary of the inscription of the Historic Centre of Macao on the World Heritage List with a string of celebratory events underway to promote the idea of "Protecting and Appreciating Our World Heritage Together."
Macao's membership in the OWHC will enable it to gain access to global information on World Heritage preservation, participate in various events to learn from one another, and further raise its international profile as a World Heritage city.
The OWHC is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization founded in 1993, dedicated to stimulating cooperation among countries regarding the preservation of world heritage.