26.04.2017 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

UNESCO partners with ICRC to raise awareness of Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict


UNESCO presented actions and legal frameworks for the protection of cultural heritage in armed conflict during a training course on International Humanitarian Law

UNESCO gave a presentation on the “Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict” during the 21st Course in International Humanitarian Law for Humanitarian Professionals and Policy Makers, which was organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Regional Delegation in Nairobi, Kenya.

The week-long course, held 23-28 April 2017 at the Simba Lodge in Naivasha, Kenya, brought together over 20 participants from around the world ranging from Legal Officers, judges, representatives of UN agencies and Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Refugee Officers, researchers and policy analysts from countries including: Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, Luxembourg, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, Uganda, and the United States of America.

During the session on the “Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict”, UNESCO’s Programme Specialist for Culture from the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, Ms. Karalyn Monteil, presented the UNESCO normative instruments in the field of culture with a particular focus on the 1954 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocols. This presentation equipped participants with a clearer understanding of the provisions of the 1954 Convention as well as the synergies of UNESCO instruments in the field of culture to protect cultural heritage.

The UNESCO presentation also highlighted significant recent actions for the protection of cultural heritage in times of conflict, including: the #UNITE FOR HERITAGE campaign against destruction of cultural heritage launched by UNESCO in June 2015; the Strategy for the Reinforcement of UNESCO’s Action for the Protection of Culture and the Promotion of Cultural Pluralism in the Event of Armed Conflict adopted by 38th General Conference of UNESCO in November 2015; the new UNESCO Military Training Manual for the protection of cultural property, developed with the San Remo Institute for Humanitarian Law; the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2347 on the Protection of Cultural Heritage adopted on 24 March 2017, which recognizes the indispensable role of international cooperation in protection of cultural heritage; and more recently, the first ever G7 Culture Ministers’ meeting, which adopted the “Florence Declaration” recognizing the distinctive role of culture as an instrument for dialogue, reconciliation and response to emergency situations, and calling for common and coordinated action to strengthen the safeguarding of cultural heritage.

For more information, please see UNESCO’s web page on Armed Conflict and Heritage and video.

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