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UN Security Council Adopts Historic Resolution for the Protection of Heritage

Date: 24.03.2017 From: UNESCO

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova addressed a public briefing of the United Nations Security Council on “Maintenance of international peace and security: destruction and trafficking of cultural heritage by terrorist groups and in situations of armed conflict,” where the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2347 for the protection of heritage.
Speaking in support of the resolution, Madam Bokova told the Security-Council that “The deliberate destruction of heritage is a war crime; it has become a tactic of war to tear societies over the long term, in a strategy of cultural cleansing. This is why defending cultural heritage is more than a cultural issue; it is a security imperative, inseparable from that of defending human lives.”
The Director-General went on to explain that since the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2199 in 2015, which prohibits trade in cultural property from Iraq and Syria, efforts are well-underway to disrupt terrorist financing through the illicit trafficking of antiquities. “In a global movement launched by UNESCO, some 50 States have strengthened their legislation and are sharing information and data, to dismantle trafficking routes, to facilitate restitutions.
The briefing by Director-General Bokova before the Security Council marked the first time a Director-General of UNESCO has been invited in this capacity. Resolution 2347 is the first ever resolution adopted by the Security Council to focus on Cultural heritage. The unanimous support to the Resolution reflects a new recognition of the importance of heritage protection for peace and security. The briefing was held at the initiative of France and Italy and under the Presidency of the United Kingdom.
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