28.06.2017 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

UNESCO unites Ministers in Eastern Africa and the adjacent Indian Ocean Islands to strengthen synergies for the protection of cultural heritage

Logo design by Andrew Mwini Mutuku

UNESCO is organizing a Regional Conference and Ministerial Roundtable to strengthen synergies for the protection of Cultural Heritage in Eastern Africa and the adjacent Indian Ocean Islands. The conference will take place in Port Louis, Mauritius from 18 to 20 July 2017 under the patronage of the Ministry of Arts and Culture of Mauritius and in collaboration with the Mauritius National Commission for UNESCO. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs is also offering additional financial support towards the conference.

The conference will gather over 80 participants from the 13 countries covered by the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa (Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda), and provide a platform for discussion among national and international actors concerning challenges and recommendations for the protection of cultural heritage in the region.

Due to the increasing threats to cultural heritage from conflict and terrorism and the lack of national legislation and policies to protect cultural heritage, this regional conference will offer an opportunity for Ministers, Directors of Heritage, Museum Directors and cultural site managers to share experiences, innovative practices and policies to increase capacities and strengthen joint actions for the protection of cultural heritage. The last day of the conference will include a Ministerial Roundtable, which will issue a joint Statement indicating priorities for safeguarding cultural heritage nationally and regionally.

The conference will examine the key normative instruments, such as the UNESCO 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols (1954 and 1999), the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and the UNIDROIT 1995 Convention on stolen or illegally exported cultural objects, as well as the network of partners and resources, which provide a solid foundation for safeguarding cultural heritage.

UNESCO’s partners in the field of cultural heritage protection are also actively participating in the event, including:

  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS)
  • International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT)
  • World Customs Organization (WCO)
  • International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol)
  • International Council of Museums (ICOM)
  • International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
  • International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM)
  • African World Heritage Fund (AWHF)
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

For more information, please see the following documents:

Concept Note EN FR

Final Agenda / Ordre du Jour

List of participants

Information Note/ Note d'Information

Related Links:

Unite for Heritage Campaign

Armed conflict and Heritage

Culture at Risk

1970 Convention

1954 Convention

1995 UNIDROIT Convention




<- Back to: UNESCO Office in Nairobi
Back to top