Minja Yang was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1952. Upon completing her high school education in Tokyo, she attended universities in Paris, Washington D.C., Geneva and London and has an undergraduate degree in Development Sociology (Georgetown University, USA) and post-graduate degrees in Southeast Asian Studies and Politics (University of London). Joining the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1979, she worked for the protection of refugees and displaced persons from Indochina as well as from the Horn of Africa until 1989 when she transferred to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Having served in the Cabinet of the Director-General of UNESCO, then as Chief of Emergency Unit (1990), as Chief of Unit for the safeguarding of Angkor and concurrently Head of the Intersectoral Task Force on Cambodia (1991), she joined the World Heritage Centre in 1994. She is now concurrently Director for the Asia-Pacific Region and of the Information and Documentation Unit, as well as Coordinator for a Special Programme for the Safeguarding and Development of Asian World Heritage Cities for the 21st Century, at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
Keynote title: HERITAGE & DEVELOPMENT” STRATEGY ON HISTORIC URBAN LANDSCAPE (HUL)