He declared that through this inscription, “Mexico has established itself as a cultural and natural power.”

“Today, our diversity is part of the world’s heritage. We are the country in the American continent with the most sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and the country with sixth highest number of sites worldwide,” he said.

He said that as of today, Mexico has 33 inscriptions, 27 of which are cultural sites, five natural sites and one mixed heritage. “The latter is thanks to the fact that in 2014, UNESCO ratified the outstanding universal value of the ancient Maya city and protected tropical forests of Calakmul as Mixed World Heritage,” he explained.

He added that, “Seven of our traditions and festivities are included on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, such as the mariachis, the Day of the Dead ritual and the ceremony of the fliers.”

President Peña Nieto expressed Mexico’s pride in receiving the certificate awarded by UNESCO for the Inscription of the Hydraulic Complex of Father Tembleque’s Aqueduct on the World Heritage list. ”This award honors us deeply and invites us to preserve the rich and vast cultural and natural heritage our country possesses for the benefit of present and future generations,” he said.

Father Tembleque’s aqueduct is the most important hydraulic engineering work built during the Viceroyalty, between 1554 and 1571. With a length of over 48 kilometers, this complex in the center of Mexico between the states of Hidalgo and Mexico was built to take water to the indigenous peoples of the region.

Its extraordinary water catchment area and fountains, its extensive network of canals, its imposing arches over 30 meters high, as well as the bridges and aqueducts comprising it, are an example of the development of water systems in 16th century America. The good state of preservation of this heritage is due to its excellent planning and the use of local materials in its construction.

President Peña Nieto declared that, “Mexico has great cultural, historical and natural wealth that makes it an extraordinary country. Every corner of our nation is a mosaic of landscapes and activities, traditions and experiences, magic, charm, flavors and colors. We therefore proudly assume the global responsibility for protecting and conserving the heritage that belongs to us and the world.”

The Mexican president and the Director-General of the organization, Irina Bokova, held a meeting at the UNESCO headquarters. There, they exchanged gifts and the Mexican president subsequently signed the Golden Book of distinguished visitors.

YOU HAVE FOCUSED ON LOFTY GOALS FOR EDUCATION AND THE KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY: IRINA BOKOVA, DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, told President Peña Nieto: “Mr. President, you have focused on lofty goals for education and the knowledge society, science and culture. That desire coincides with the values of our mandate and UNESCO’s efforts to incorporate culture as an engine of development.

She pointed out that the recognition of the outstanding universal value of Father Tembleque’s Aqueduct is also part of this global vision of culture. “In addition to Father Tembleque’s Aqueduct, there are another 32 Mexican World Heritage sites and I know that this is of particular importance to you, because you hail from this region,” she said.

She added that this year, the 70th anniversary of the creation of UNESCO, “Just as when you visited us in 2012, your presence here once again symbolizes the bonds of friendship between us.”