Workshop on prevention and fight against illicit traffic of cultural goods in Southern Africa

©UNESCO

Gaborone, Botswana, 5-7 November 2012

Background

The workshop was a follow-up to the strategic way forward established by the Southern African Member States during the meeting hosted by Namibia in September 2011 which addressed the issues of the illicit traffic of cultural goods and their restitution.

Participants

Heritage and museum professionals, law enforcement officials from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Objectives

  • strengthening museum security and inventories;
  • strengthening cooperation between cultural and heritage institutions and law enforcement agencies;
  • creating an effective platform for addressing issues of illicit traffic through sharing of information on missing objects;
  • encouraging collaborative efforts in collecting, documenting and exhibiting retrieved heritage artefacts; and
  • advocating for the ratification and implementation of the 1970 and 1995 Conventions.

The workshop also explored ways of strengthening the SADC Heritage Association which was revived with the support of UNESCO Harare and Windhoek Cluster Offices. The Association’s Strategic Plan developed in 2011 is fully aligned with the objectives of this workshop thus leading the Plan into its practical implementation. The involvement of SADC Secretariat in the workshop presented an opportunity to discuss the process of reinforcing the Culture domain within the SADC Secretariat.

Partners

Representatives of UNIDROIT, Interpol, Italian Carabinieri Unit for Protection of Cultural Heritage (TPC) and UNESCO. Botswana National Museum and SADC Heritage Association were the organising partners with the UNESCO Harare and Windhoek Cluster Offices.

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