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On the 7th and 8th of November 2023, the Seventh International Coordination Meeting for Vat Phou Champasak (7th ICM) took place in Vientiane. This significant event was organized at the National Convention Hall under the leadership of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism with the financial support provided by the French Development Agency (AFD).

This is the first ICM held outside Champasak and after the previous one that was organized in Vat Phu Champasak in 2018. The 7th ICM consisted of two parts: the first day was dedicated to the International Coordination Meeting of different ongoing heritage preservation projects supported by France, India, Korea etc. and the second day provided the opportunities to present and exchange on scientific and technical research and activities related to heritage preservation and enhancement. These significant meetings aligning with the commitment of the Lao government to preserve and enhance the national heritage of Laos have gathered key actors and foreign and national experts, authorities from key several heritages sites of Laos (Luang Prabang, Xieng Khouang, Champasak, Savannakhet), representatives of UNESCO, professors and students. Over 150 participants attended the meetings.

Co-chaired by H.E.Mr. Phosy KEOMANIVONG, Deputy minister of MICT and H.E. Madam Siv-Leng CHHUOR, French ambassador, the 7th ICM was envisioned as a platform for updating stakeholders on the progress of ongoing projects and engaging in discussions related to the conservation, restoration, and tourism management of Vat Phou. Additionally, presentations of findings from the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) were made, followed by discussions with experts from various fields, aimed at supporting and preserving the beauty of Vat Phou Champasak

Leading up to the event, the EAG, in collaboration with international experts and Lao authorities, performed a field visit in Champasak. Their mission was to provide technical expertise concerning the Vat Phou World Heritage Site, with the goal of aligning and adhering to the high international standards set by UNESCO for world heritage sites. These recommendations, subsequently presented during the 7th ICM, will be considered and integrated into future plans for the management of Vat Phou in the coming years.
An exhibition was organized to celebrate the successes of past projects and showcased the work of various projects implemented in Laos, including those supported by AFD in Vat Phou Champasak (CHAMPA Project), the Lao-Indian project (ASI), the Lao-Korean project and the Savannakhet architecture competition, co-organized with the Faculty of Architecture at the National University of Laos, French Institute of Vientiane, IRD etc.

Following the first day of the 7th ICM, the second day was organized under the title of "International Conference: Archaeological Research and Preservation of Heritage in Southern Laos," in collaboration with the Ecole francaise d'Extreme Orient (EFEO). This second day consisted of 13 technical sessions covering various topics related to archaeology, architecture, cultural heritage, history, epigraphy, museography, and more. Experts from many countries gathered to exchange ideas and share the latest discoveries related to the southern part of Laos. Furthermore, students from the National University of Laos participated in this international conference, contributing to the development of the new generation of Lao experts in these fields