Department of Communications and Public Affairs

Published on Friday, October 13, 2017

San Antonio Missions’ UNESCO status not anticipated to change

Contact: Thea Setterbo, 210-207-7349 

(District 3) Susy Romero, 210-207-7008 

Spanish media: Carlos Valenzuela, 210-207-3919

SAN ANTONIO (Oct. 12, 2017) — Today, the Trump administration announced that the United States plans to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) effective Dec. 31, 2018. This decision is not anticipated to impact the San Antonio Missions’ designation as a World Heritage Site.

“We are proud of the San Antonio Missions’ World Heritage designation, and we are happy that status is not expected to change. The missions deserve the recognition,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said. “The Missions are a world-class heritage site and their importance locally and internationally is unquestioned.”

After nearly a decade of work by the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas General Land Office, National Park Service, San Antonio River Authority, Archdiocese of San Antonio, elected officials and other community partners, the missions were designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on July 5, 2015. They are the only World Heritage Site in Texas and the catalyst for renewed growth and development on San Antonio’s Southside.

“Sadly, this decision isn’t shocking,” said District 3 City Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, whose district is home to four of San Antonio’s five missions. “Withdrawing from UNESCO is a shortsighted move that is more about politics, not about sound public policy. The international bonds San Antonio has solidified as a result of the World Heritage designation are invaluable to us as a community and growing city. We must continue to work together, not isolate ourselves, to strengthen San Antonio’s status as a global city.”

In 2015, Councilwoman Viagran began a two-year public engagement process that resulted in the World Heritage Work Plan. District 3 and the World Heritage Office will continue to implement the work plan with a focus on specific tasks and deliverables in the following categories: management and oversight, infrastructure, wayfinding, transportation, beautification, economic development, land use, and marketing and outreach. The work plan is coordinated with the Alamo Master Plan effort that is also underway.

For more information, visit

Number of views (2204)