UNESCO.ORG | Education | Natural Sciences | Social & Human Sciences | Culture | Communication & Information

WebWorld

graphic element 1

Communication and Information Resources

graphic element 2

News

Communication and Information Sector's news service

Koïchiro Matsuura : «We are duty bound to assist the Iraqi people in protecting its memory and building its future»

27-03-2003 ()
Koïchiro Matsuura :  «We are duty bound to assist the Iraqi people in protecting its memory and building its future»
Detail of banner found in royal tombs of Ur, 2450 BC
© M. L. Bonsirven-Fontana, UNESCO
Following converging reports about damage to several cultural buildings in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad, Mossul and Tikrit, since the beginning of the conflict, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, recalling that Iraq, “the cradle of civilizations that go back thousands of years, has many treasures and sites that are a valuable part of the heritage of all humankind”, has again emphasized that everything possible should be done to preserve the Iraqi cultural heritage.
He noted that UNESCO was “duty bound to assist the Iraqi people in protecting its memory and building its future”, and said he was confident that the United States authorities were determined to “take all possible steps to protect and preserve the outstandingly rich Iraqi heritage for the benefit of future generations”.

Over the past weeks, well before the outbreak of the conflict, UNESCO took a number of steps to ensure that the different parties involved were aware of the terms of the 1954 Hague Convention and its two additional protocols relating to the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict. The Director-General accordingly alerted the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the US Department of State and made available a detailed map of the positions of Iraqi archaeological sites and museums. UNESCO also invited INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization and the International Confederation of Art Dealers to ensure compliance with the 1970 Convention relating to the illicit transfer of ownership of cultural property.
Related themes/countries

      · Iraq: News Archives 2003
Share this story:
  • co.mments
  • del.icio.us
  • digg
  • Furl
  • Ma.gnolia
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • Shadows
  • Simpy
  • YahooMyWeb