Riyadh to Host 45th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee

FILE - The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization logo is pictured on the entrance at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, Oct. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
FILE - The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization logo is pictured on the entrance at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, Oct. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
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Riyadh to Host 45th Session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee

FILE - The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization logo is pictured on the entrance at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, Oct. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
FILE - The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization logo is pictured on the entrance at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, Oct. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

Saudi Arabia is set to host the extended 45th session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee in the presence of the Minister of Culture and Chairman of the Saudi National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, along with the participation of Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay.

Taking place in Riyadh from September 10 to 25, the Kingdom’s hosting of the session underscores its deep commitment to preserving culture and heritage for future generations.

Furthermore, it serves as a global showcase of the substantial efforts dedicated to realizing the goals of the Kingdom Vision 2030, which include the enhancement and preservation of cultural diversity and increased national expenditure across various sectors to elevate the Kingdom's global standing.

Around 3,000 individuals, representing 21 member states of the World Heritage Committee out of the 194 states that have ratified the World Heritage Convention, are expected to participate in the session.



Colombian Bullfighters Decry New Ban on Centuries-old Tradition

Photos of bullfighters decorate the walls of the bullring in Choachi, Colombia, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Photos of bullfighters decorate the walls of the bullring in Choachi, Colombia, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
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Colombian Bullfighters Decry New Ban on Centuries-old Tradition

Photos of bullfighters decorate the walls of the bullring in Choachi, Colombia, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Photos of bullfighters decorate the walls of the bullring in Choachi, Colombia, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Sebastián Caqueza says a new law to ban bullfighting in Colombia by 2028 will not dampen his passion for the sport that he has been practicing since has was a small boy.

Caqueza became a professional matador five years ago by taunting a fully grown bull for about 20 minutes and killing it with his sword, in a ceremony known as the Alternativa. Now, the 33-year-old says he will struggle to make a living as a bullfighter, but vows to do his best to stay in the centuries-old tradition.

“I will continue to participate in bullfights outside of Colombia,” said Caqueza. “And once bullfights are illegal in Colombia, we will stage them here anyway, because this is our passion and our life.”

“I will die a bullfighter” The AP quoted Caqueza as saying.

The legislation signed Monday by President Gustavo Petro places restrictions on bullfighting for a three-year transitional period and then imposes a full ban by 2028. It also orders the government to turn more than a dozen bullfighting arenas into concert halls and exhibition venues.

The bill was approved earlier this year by Colombia’s Congress after a heated debate. It removes Colombia from the short list of countries where bullfighting is still legal, including Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru, although the bill does not spell out sanctions for those who continue to stage bullfights.

Recent polls conducted across Colombia indicate bullfighting has lost popularity in the South American country, and animal rights activists have widely celebrated the government’s efforts to end an endeavor they describe as cruel and out of touch with modern values.

Bullfighting aficionados, and those who make a living from the sport, argue the government is threatening the cultural freedoms of minorities.

The bill has especially worried matadors, their assistants and cattle ranchers who specialize in rearing fighting bulls, whose future is now uncertain.