Russian Ambassador Alexander Kuznetsov has resigned as Permanent Representative to UNESCO. As a result, the office of the Chairperson of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has become vacant. The news agency AFP confirmed the information in a report on Thursday.

The organization quoted Kuznetsov’s letter to committee members as saying that he considers it impossible to chair the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee as his mission as Russia’s envoy to UNESCO ends.

UNESCO rules require that the next chairperson of the committee be appointed by a country whose name comes after the name of the resigning country in English alphabetical order. That means Russian English spelling starts with English letter ‘R’. Now as per the rules the country whose name starts with ‘S’ will be appointed to the vacant post of Chairperson.

As such, Saudi Arabia is going to be the next chairperson. So, Kuznetson will be replaced by a representative of Saudi Arabia and it will confirm his consent. In a few days, Saudi Arabia will be appointed as the new chairperson.

The 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee was scheduled to take place this summer in Kazan, Russia, but was postponed indefinitely. According to AFP, an extraordinary session will be convened within the week to agree on a date and venue for the next session, which could be held in the first half of 2023.

(24 November)