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UN Security Council Highlights the Role of Cultural Heritage for Peace and Security

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© UN Photo/Rick Bajornas
30 November 2017

United Nations, 30 November – The first Report on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2347 on the protection of cultural heritage, launched today at the UN in New York, highlights the importance of strengthening the implementation of the Resolution, which links the protection of cultural heritage with the maintenance of international peace and security. The Report explores a number of good practices shared by 29 Member States and presents a series of recommendations to strengthen heritage protection, awareness raising, data collection and training peacekeepers, with a view to better integrate cultural issues in future peacekeeping missions.

“This Report shows that Resolution 2347 has already resulted in the adoption of strong regulations and growing efforts to document, preserve and safeguard cultural heritage at risk. I am encouraged by Member States’ strong actions to implement this Resolution.” said UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay. “I wish to reaffirm UNESCO’s determination to implement this resolution, in cooperation with all our partners, building on the force of heritage to promote social cohesion, belonging and peace for all peoples in times of conflict.”

Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office, presented the Report to members of the UN Security Council during the public briefing on “Maintenance of international peace and security: Destruction and trafficking of cultural heritage by terrorist groups and in situations of armed conflict”.

The Resolution and the Report also encourage all Member States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its Protocols, as well as the UNESCO 1970 Convention against illicit trafficking of cultural property and other relevant international conventions.

UN Security Council Resolution 2347 was unanimously adopted in March 2017. It is the first Resolution to focus exclusively on cultural heritage, it welcomes the central role played by UNESCO in protecting cultural heritage and promoting culture as an instrument to bring people together and foster dialogue. This first Report was prepared under the leadership of UNESCO in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, among others.

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