Minister Gentiloni "Italy is working with all partners to strengthen cultural diplomacy around the world"

2 June - the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, received the Minister for foreign affairs of Italy, M. Paolo Gentiloni‎, to discuss the cooperation with UNESCO, especially as regards the protection of cultural heritage under attack, in the context of the small ministerial meeting of the anti-Daesh coalition held the same day in Paris.

"Italy stands amongst the strongest partners and supporters of UNESCO, and we need to concentrate our efforts to implement UN Security Council resolution 2199 against illicit trafficking of cultural objects, as well as UNESCO recent resolution on cultural heritage in conflict areas, sponsored by Italy at the Executive board," said the Director-General.

"We should not choose between saving human lives and protecting heritage, both are intrinsically linked," recalled the Minister, mentioning the role of Italy for the protection of cultural heritage, and in particular its commitment in countering the looting and illicit trafficking of cultural objects to finance terrorism.

The Minister further emphasized the strong engagement of Italy in the implementation of UNESCO's activities notably through its UNESCO centers in Trieste, Perugia and in Venice.

 "We are proud to host a centre of excellence in scientific research and innovation such as the ICTP in Trieste and we are working also on a long term strategy for the UNESCO Office in Venice."

"Italy is working for the protection of cultural heritage around the world, from Libya to Egypt, from Myanmar to Afghanistan, ‎and we need Italy’s expertise and commitment more than ever in these times of trial when Heritage is at the frontline of modern conflict," concluded the Director-General.