On 28 November 2016, the Government of Sweden and UNESCO signed three letters of agreement to support the protection of heritage in conflict and post-conflict situations, particularly in the Arab region. The contribution, amounting to SEK 4,500,000 (around USD 490,000), will raise the human capacities of three UNESCO Conventions.
SEK 2,250,000 will reinforce human capacities of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, supporting States Parties in the protection, management and conservation of World Heritage properties. In addition, the aid will support the preparation and capacity-building of the third cycle of World Heritage Periodic Reporting in the Arab States and the implementation of the World Heritage Committee’s Decisions regarding sites from Arab States that are inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.
SEK 1,250,000 will bolster the human capacities of the 1970 Convention, which deals with the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. In particular, the aid will facilitate an effective follow-up of UNSC Resolution 2199 and support the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural properties in emergency situations.
SEK 1,125,000 will strengthen the human capacities of the 1954 Hague Convention and its two protocols (1954 and 1999) on Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. This support will enhance the work related to the List of Cultural Property under Enhanced Protection and will also provide technical advice to High Contracting Parties concerning protection of cultural properties affected by armed conflict.
Moreover, on 5 December 2016, UNESCO and Sweden signed an Amendment to the Programme Cooperation Agreement (2014-2017) to include an additional contribution of SEK 3 million (around USD 330,000) for strengthening norms and knowledge for media development through IPDC indicators-based research and grassroots projects that support freedom of expression.