Sunday, 31 May 2015 12:46

UNAMI and UNESCO - UN Iraq welcomes UN General Assembly Resolution on Saving the Cultural Heritage of Iraq

UN Iraq welcomes UN General Assembly Resolution on Saving the Cultural Heritage of Iraq

Baghdad, 31st May 2015 – The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Ján Kubiš welcomed the UN General Assembly Resolution on ‘Saving the Cultural Heritage of Iraq’, which was adopted unanimously on Thursday in New York.

 

In the Resolution, the General Assembly stated that it was “appalled by the destruction and looting carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as Da’esh, of the cultural heritage of Iraq, cradle of the Mesopotamian civilization, found in its museums, libraries, archives and archaeological sites, places of worship, including mosques, shrines and churches, and of religious and cultural artefacts, which are irreparable losses for Iraq and for humanity as a whole.”

It also stated that it was “alarmed by the increasing number of intentional attacks against and threats to the cultural heritage of countries affected by armed conflict as well as the organized looting and trafficking in cultural objects, which occurs on an unprecedented scale today.”

The General Assembly further affirmed “that attacks intentionally directed against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, or historic monuments, may amount to war crimes.”

It called upon “all States to assist the Iraqi authorities in fighting against trafficking in cultural property illegally excavated from archaeological sites and taken from museums, libraries, archives and manuscript collections….”

“This is indeed a strong message to all those who have actively embarked on the destruction and illicit trafficking of Iraq’s cultural wealth that humanity will not stand idle while they are carrying out their despicable crimes against some of the world’s greatest civilizations,” SRSG Kubiš said.

On his part, the UNESCO Representative to Iraq, Mr. Axel Plathe said: “The adopted resolution is a significant stride in the international community’s efforts towards protecting and safeguarding Iraq’s irreplaceable cultural heritage; but more importantly it will hold those responsible for the atrocious attacks, accountable. UNESCO’s work in protecting cultural heritage has never been so critical, and the newly adopted resolution, backed up by the international community, further supports UNESCO’s mandate in Iraq.”

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For more information, please contact: Ms. Eliana Nabaa, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson

United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or the UNAMI Public Information Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI, UNESCO
Last modified on Sunday, 31 May 2015 12:49

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