Vera Lacoeuilhe

Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe is French and Lebanese. She is a diplomat and a lecturer. She completed a B.A. in political science and administration at the American University of Beirut (1979) and an M.A. in Near and Middle Eastern studies at New York University (1983). She served at UNESCO as Deputy Permanent Delegate for Saint-Lucia (1996 – 2016) and as Alternate Representative of the Head of Government of Saint Lucia to the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF) (2001-2016). She was Lebanon’s candidate to the post of Director General of UNESCO and an advisor to the Lebanese Ministry of Culture. She was also a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Independent Advisors Team (ITA). She teaches international law at Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University since 2013. She also teaches the UNESCO Cultural Conventions at the “Institut d’études politiques de Paris” - Sciences Po.

Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe headed the Saint-Lucia delegation at the World Heritage Committee between 2001 and 2006, serving as Chairperson of the 27th session in Paris (2003) and Vice-Chairperson of the 28th session in Suzhou (2004). In 2014, she presided over the 1st Extraordinary Session of the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention in Paris.

The following audio excerpts are from an interview with Vera Lacoeuilhe by Christina Cameron and Mechtild Rössler in November 2017 in Paris. Lacoeuilhe comments on the current challenges of the implementation of the Convention, such as the dangers of tourism, the politicization of the World Heritage Committee and the declining standard for the Outstanding Universal Value of sites. She calls for a return to the primary objectives of the Convention so that more efforts are devoted to heritage conservation and international cooperation.