As the leading UN agency in the protection of cultural heritage, UNESCO will continue to promote the principles of the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The Doha office has done this through capacity building of national institutions responsible for the prevention of illicit trafficking of cultural objects in the Gulf countries and Yemen. It will continue to champion this cause by raising awareness about the Convention’s importance to the region and about the available legal tools to help safeguard against illicit trafficking.


UNESCO Doha has also become increasingly involved in the preservation of intangible cultural heritage, defined as:


…the practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills (including instruments, objects, artifacts, cultural spaces), that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals, recognize as part of their cultural heritage.[1]


Through the promotion of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, UNESCO Doha will support an apprenticeship programme in cooperation with the Qatari government, the Qatar Museums Authority, and the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies. This programme will seek to preserve the intangible cultural heritage of Qatar and the wider region by ensuring that the skills of ‘living treasures’ are passed on to the younger generation.


Other culture-related activities planned for the next biennium are:

  • Protecting and conserving cultural and natural heritage through the effective implementation of the 1972 World Heritage Convention;
  • Enhancing the protection of cultural property and fighting against its illicit trafficking;
  • Sustaining and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions through the effective implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions;
  • Promoting the role of culture in development at the global, regional and national levels;
  • Promoting intercultural dialogue, social cohesion and a culture of peace and non violence.

[1] “Definition of Intangible Heritage,” UNESCO,

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