Paris, 11 October 2019 – UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, Mr Ernesto Ottone R. and the Executive Director of the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH), Mr Valéry Freland, signed a Memorandum of Understanding strengthening the two Organizations’ cooperation and mutual objectives. The agreement establishes the basis for reinforced support by ALIPH in the implementation of UNESCO’s Cultural Conventions for the protection of built and living heritage. The signature represents a critical step in securing an enduring partnership on rehabilitation and protection activities for cultural heritage sites in conflict areas.
“This agreement will continue to strengthen our working relationship and common goal to prevent and respond to the threats of destruction, damage or looting impacting cultural heritage,” said Mr Ottone, R.
Mr Freland stressed that “This Memorandum of Understanding highlights our shared mission of protecting heritage to build peace. The partnership shall reinforce our concrete actions to help communities in conflict and post-conflict areas to harness their heritage for reconciliation and recovery.”
With the support of ALIPH of USD 1.9M, UNESCO has launched a project for the Safeguarding of the Archaeological Remains and Minaret of Jam, a World Heritage property in Afghanistan. The project aims to implement urgent measures to improve the minaret’s stability and develop a detailed conservation plan, while reinforcing the capacities of Afghan experts. ALIPH also contributes to UNESCO’s flagship initiative “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” launched in February 2018. This groundbreaking project focuses on the human dimension of the reconstruction of the city around three main points: the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged or destroyed cultural heritage, the rehabilitation of the education system and the revitalization of cultural life.
The partnership between UNESCO and ALIPH aims to increase information sharing, relay technical expertise, and collaborate on relevant projects and raise awareness globally of the urgent threats against cultural heritage in conflict areas. UNESCO is a non-voting member of the Foundation Board of ALIPH.