First Plenary Session of International Coordination Committee for the Safeguarding of Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage at UNESCOParis – The First Plenary Session of the International Coordination Committee (ICC) for the Safeguarding of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage, to be held at UNESCO from June 16 to 18, will bring together some 40 experts in the presence of representatives of the Member States that have contributed to these safeguarding activities. They will examine the progress of initiatives in this area and recommend measures to ensure the coordination.
The opening session (June 16, 9.30-10.20 a.m., Room XIII; entrance at 1, rue Miollis) will be open to the press and introduced by UNESCO’s Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura. The Minister for Information and Culture of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan Sayed Makhdoum Raheen, who chairs the ICC, will then take the floor. He will be followed by Ghulam Rasoul Yusufzai, Deputy Minister for Culture of the Afghan Transitional Government and Chairperson of the National Council for the Protection and Rehabilitation of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage, and Tamas Fejerdy, Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee.
During its seven closed working sessions the ICC will consider the following issues: archeological research and capacity building; the prevention of illicit traffic of Afghan cultural property and the protection of the main sites, particularly within the framework of UNESCO’s conventions (the World Heritage Convention and the 1970 convention on the prevention of illicit traffic); the emergency conservation of the Jam minaret (inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2002) and monuments in Herat; the rehabilitation of the Kabul National Museum; the preservation of the Bamiyan site; and the protection of Afghan intangible cultural heritage and handicrafts.
Following the Government of Afghanistan’s request to UNESCO to coordinate all international efforts in the field of culture, the Organization’s Executive Board approved the ICC’s Statutes in October 2002. The Committee’s mandate is to “advise the Director-General – who will inform the Afghan authorities, Member States and other partners – on measures to improve and reinforce international cooperation for the safeguarding of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage.”
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