Third Expert Meeting on “Protecting Cultural Heritage – an Imperative for Humanity”

When, local time: 
Friday, 27 May 2016 -
10:00am to 1:00pm
Where: 
United States of America, New York
Type of Event: 
Interagency meeting
Contact: 
l.valtchanova@unesco.org

The Permanent Delegations of Jordan and Italy, together with INTERPOL, UNESCO and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will organize a third and final Expert Meeting of the series on “Protecting Cultural Heritage – an Imperative for Humanity”, at the United Nations Headquarters. This meeting will focus on the situation of trafficking from “source” countries as well as on the more general issue of cultural heritage destruction.
In the context of the increasing international awareness for the protection of cultural heritage as a security and humanitarian imperative, and as a follow-up to the Milan Declaration and ensuing events and exhibitions, the Permanent Delegations of Jordan and Italy to the United Nations, together with INTERPOL, UNESCO and UNODC, have launched, in 2016, a series of Expert Meetings on “Protecting Cultural Heritage – an Imperative for Humanity” at UN Headquarters, in order to further sensitize Member States and the international community on the issue. The meetings focus on specific issues pertaining to the safeguarding of cultural heritage, the protection of cultural property and the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural objects, particularly of an archaeological origin, and as a source of terrorism financing.

In relation to the latter issue, in particular, two meetings have already taken place - on 2 March and 28 April 2016 last - on “The market and the import/destination of illegally trafficked cultural property” and “Trafficking and transfer of illegally exported cultural property”, respectively. During these two meetings, respectively organized by INTERPOL and UNODC with UNESCO’s support and under the presidency of Jordan and Italy, many questions were tackled, such as, among others, exercising due diligence on the search for provenance of cultural objects, border controls, training of police and customs, raising awareness of local communities and the art market, the criminalization of specific harmful conduct or the establishment of administrative offences.

This series of three expert meetings will culminate with a high level event in September 2016 during the UNGA General Debate.