UNESCO Director-General welcomes the signature of the US Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act

“I commend the signature by the President of the United States of America of the Bill to combat illicit trafficking of cultural property from Syria”. This landmark legislation strengthens global efforts led by UNESCO to protect cultural heritage in Syria by curbing illicit trafficking of its cultural property; a traffic that is an important source of financing of terrorist groups”, stated Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.

With this new Act, the legislation of the United States of America is now fully aligned with the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2199, which establishes a prohibition in cross-border trade of cultural property originating from Iraq and Syria. ‘I commend all countries that have already strengthened legislation and enhanced coordination, and I call all Member States to adopt such measures to protect cultural heritage at risk in Syria and Iraq, and to counter terrorism. I am convinced that together, we can accomplish more”, concluded the Director-General