‘The wide diffusion of culture, and the education of humanity for justice and liberty and peace are indispensable to the dignity of man and constitute a sacred duty which all the nations must fulfil in a spirit of mutual assistance and concern’
The idea of World Heritage stems from the above principles of justice, liberty and peace, which inspired the need to globally conserve and protect the natural and cultural heritage that is of such Outstanding Universal Value that it must be enjoyed by present generations and transmitted to future ones.
The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by the UNESCO in 1972 and ratified by Ireland in 1991. Its aim was and is to promote understanding, peace and cooperation among nations so that heritage around the world can be protected. For the first time, an international convention has recognised that heritage encompasses culture and that it is also the result of human interactions with nature.
The UNESCO World Heritage List contains some of the most important examples of natural and cultural heritage in the world.