In an initiative to promote safeguarding and protection of cultural heritage in Lebanon UNESCO Office in Beirut hosted a first meeting to support the establishment of Lebanese Committee of the Blue Shield (LCBS), a leading NGO that works to protect world cultural heritage threatened by natural and human-made disasters.
Organized on Thursday 30 April 2015 in UNESCO Office in Beirut, the meeting brought together officials and experts from the culture sector in Lebanon, including the Secretary General of Blue Shields (Mr. Peter Stone), the President of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in Lebanon (Ms. Suzy Hakimian), Mr. Assaad Seif representing Director General of Antiquities in Lebanon, in addition to representatives from UNESCO, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the International Council on Archives (ICA), and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
Mr. Joseph Kreidi, programme specialist for Culture at UNESCO office in Beirut emphasized the importance of such endeavors, stating that "the establishment of the LCBS, with its international expertise and unique mandate, is a major step that is much needed in Lebanon". Mr. Kreidi expected for the establishment of the LCBS to "significantly enhance cooperation needed to develop preventive measures and increase the preparedness to face potential risks threatening cultural heritage in Lebanon".
ICBS is an international and independent organisation that works to protect world cultural heritage threatened by natural and human-made disasters, as identified by UNESCO Hague Convention (1954) which created rules to protect cultural goods during armed conflicts. Through its mandate, the ICBS covers museums and archives, audiovisual supports, libraries, and monuments and sites.
In case of armed conflict or disaster, ICBS collects and shares information on threats to cultural property worldwide, thus helping international players to take the appropriate measures. It intervenes as an advisor and cooperates with other bodies including UNESCO, ICCROM and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICEC) to encourage the safeguarding and the restoration of cultural property, the protection of threatened goods, and help the professionals from the affected countries to recover from disasters.