The two-day meeting brought together high-level Government, aid agency and other officials from 73 countries.
The delegates pledged a total of $ 32 b. for Iraq. In his speech to the Ministerial Meeting, the President of the World Bank, Mr. James Wolfensohn, said, "I start with culture...Culture must be preserved and strengthened."
In his address to the Senior Officials Session on Environment, Culture and Gender Issues, Mr. Bouchenaki advocated a "vital role" for Culture in post-conflict reconstruction, in order to restore national identity and pride and make other development sustainable. He called the state of Iraqi Heritage "terrible" and said UNESCO had witnessed continued looting of sites in broad daylight during its Needs Assessment missions in May and July. He highlighted emergency actions that must be taken, based on UNESCO’s experience and decisive results in other post-conflict situations.
Among a range of other activities, the Culture team distributed to conference delegates copies of the brochure entitled “Salvage the Cultural Heritage of Iraq”, which was prepared by the Sector, as well as copies of the Culture Sector's Needs Assessment.