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Press Release - UN/Italy. Italy and Cyprus launch the Group of Friends for the Protection of Cultural Heritage

Date:

04/18/2018


Press Release - UN/Italy. Italy and Cyprus launch the Group of Friends for the Protection of Cultural Heritage

The launch of the Group of Friends for the Protection of Cultural Heritage marks an important step forward in the path undertaken by Italy since 2015 for the safeguard of the world cultural heritage from destruction and trafficking by terrorist groups and organized crime. The adoption last year, on the initiative of Italy and France, of Resolution 2347 by the Security Council was an historic stride. A joint commitment and a coordinated action by Member States and the United Nations are vital to face the current challenges and threats to our culture and identity. This is the objective that we aim to achieve by establishing, on the occasion of the World Heritage Day, this new Group of Friends.”

New York, 18 April 2018: With these words the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, opened today the first meeting of the new Group of Friends for the Protection of Cultural Heritage initiated by Italy and Cyprus. The meeting was held at the Permanent Mission of Italy on the occasion of the International Day for Monuments and Sites, established by UNESCO in 1983. It was attended by 17 Countries and by UNESCO, UNODC and INTERPOL as observers.

Back in 2015, in response to the increasing number of attacks against ancient monuments and sites by extremist groups, Italy and Jordan started the project “Protecting Cultural Heritage - An imperative for Humanity: Acting together against the destruction and trafficking of cultural property by terrorist groups and organized crime”. Its outcomes were presented last September to the opening session of the 72nd session of the General Assembly. In March 2017, the Security Council adopted, on the initiative of Italy and France, the historic resolution 2347, with which for the first time the Council recognizes the need to protect cultural heritage in conflict situations and to combat the trafficking in cultural property as a source of financing for terrorism.

Italy, the first Country to give its contribution to UNESCO United4Heritage strategy with the establishment of a dedicated Carabinieri Task Force in 2016, remains at the forefront on this important issue both in the field and in New York where, as co-chair of the Group of Friends together with Cyprus, will promote the implementation of relevant international instruments, the upgrade of national protection systems – from digitization of cultural property to investigative and judicial mechanisms - and the strengthening of international cooperation.” said Cardi.

 


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