UNESCO welcomes UN Security Council’s resolution on protecting cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq

New York, SANA – UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) welcomed the adoption of a new UN Security Council Resolution No. 2199 last Thursday on cutting off funding to terrorist organizations and taking legally binding measures to counter illicit trafficking of antiquities and cultural objects from Iraq and Syria.

“The adoption of resolution 2199 is a milestone for enhanced protection of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria. It is also a clear recognition that the pillage, destruction and trafficking of cultural heritage are more than a cultural tragedy – this is also a security and political imperative to be taken into account in all peace efforts,” UN Media Services Center quoted Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, as saying.

“Pillage of Iraq’s and Syria’s culture has reached an unprecedented scale… It fuels the conflicts by providing revenues for armed groups and terrorists. This resolution acknowledges that cultural heritage stands on the frontline of conflicts today, and it should be placed at the frontline of security and political response to the crisis,” she added.

The UNESCO Director General stressed that the destruction of the cultural heritage of the two countries is a loss for all humanity and it is “our common responsibility” to stand up for its protection.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a Russia-proposed resolution on cutting off finance of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-linked terrorist organizations.

The resolution asserts the need to take steps to prevent terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria from benefiting from trade in oil, antiquities and hostages, and from receiving donations.

In a relevant context, Syria’s Permanent Representative to UN Bashar al-Jaafari said Syria welcomes the adoption of the UN Security Council of the resolution No. 2199 and highly appreciates the initiative of Russia’s and China’s representatives in this regard.

H. Zain/H. Said

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