Sok An

Sok An was a Cambodian politician and diplomat from the province of Takeo. He was one of the nine deputy prime ministers currently serving in Cambodia, as well as being the chairman of the Council of Ministers. During his long political career, he was deeply involved in preserving the cultural heritage of his country. In particular, he was chairman of the APSARA authority, the body responsible for the protection and management of the Angkor region, created following the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List in 1992. This body, in collaboration with the International Committee of Experts ICC-Angkor, has been assisted by many countries in carrying out successful conservation projects. Sok An was also chairman of the National Commission for UNESCO, in addition to chairing the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee in Phnom Penh in 2013. Before his death, the King of Cambodia awarded him the honorary title of Samdech Vibal Panhia.

The following audio excerpts are from an interview with Sok An by Christina Cameron and Mechtild Rössler in June 2014 in Doha, Qatar. The interest of his testimony lies particularly in his vision of the aims of the Convention, in his proposed solutions to the incessant growth of the World Heritage List and in the passages which deal with the specific case of Angkor.

UNESCO, World Heritage Oral Archives, Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage, University of Montreal, audio interview of Sok An by Christina Cameron and Mechtild Rössler, Doha, Qatar, 18 June 2014.