Published on : Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Due to the conflicts around 17 of the 82 World Heritage sites in the Arab region were on danger said the new head of the U.N cultural agency.
Audrey Azoulay said that over 100 sites across have been damaged. She took the helm of the educational, scientific and cultural agency known as UNESCO.
She further said during a U.N Security Council meeting that the destruction and trafficking of cultural heritage by terrorists during conflicts resulted all the six World Heritage sites to get severely affected including Palmyra and Aleppo.
The Council’s adoption in March of a resolution that condemned the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage and warning the Islamic State extremists group, al –Qaida was praised by Azoulay.
Previous measures which were earlier limited to the illicit trafficking in looted cultural items to fund terrorism and focused mainly on Iraq and Syria.
Azoulay mentioned the measure to be a major breakthrough that shows the importance of culture, responds to conflicts and prevents the radicalization and fight violent extremism.
All the countries were asked to implement the resolution, improve data collection and information shared on trafficking routes and better damage assessments.
UNESCO had earlier sent rapid assessment missions to Palmyra, Nimrud, Ashur and Mosul to define the emergency protection measures.
U.N. counter-terrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov said that in order to combat trafficking a stronger focus should be on investigation and cross-border cooperation.
Yury Fedotov, head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime said that they needed to support the country to detect the stolen cultural property with the motive of dismantling the criminal networks.