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UNESCO PURSUES EFFORTS FOR AFGHANISTAN
Paris, March 9 (No.2001-36) – UNESCO has not
received any confirmation of the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan.
Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura continues his efforts to mobilize political
and religious leaders to protect the heritage of Afghanistan.
Mr Matsuura welcomed news that a high-level
Pakistani delegation is expected to reach Afghanistan tomorrow. The
Director-General this week had contacted the Pakistan leader Pervez Musharraf to
seek his personal support in the campaign UNESCO is currently waging to save the
pre-Islamic statues of Afghanistan. During the discussion, General Musharraf
pledged to send a high-level delegation to meet with Mullah Omar.
UNESCO is presently seeking to form a
delegation of Ulemas (religious leaders) who could travel to Kabul in the coming
days. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, following his conversation with Mr
Matsuura, has taken the initiative of asking an eminent Moslem scholar to meet
Taliban authorities to demonstrate the error in their interpretation of the law
The States of the Asia-Pacific Region today
adopted a declaration of support for the actions undertaken by UNESCO, notably
the creation of a special fund for the preservation of Afghanistan’s cultural
heritage. They further encouraged UNESCO to “study carefully the constructive
proposals and efforts made by numerous countries in the region to assure the
security and preservation of the cultural heritage of Afghanistan, including
through their temporary relocation.”