Esta página no está disponible en el idioma seleccionado Spanish : Español y la proponemos por consiguiente en English : English.

High Level Meeting with UNESCO partners on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2199 and the Safeguarding of Iraqi and Syrian Heritage

01 abril 2015

At the invitation of the Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya attended a restricted high level meeting with UNESCO partners on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2199 and the Safeguarding of Iraqi and Syrian Heritage held in Paris on 1 April 2015.

The meeting was designed to share best practices and devise concrete proposals geared towards a stronger coordination mechanism, information sharing and joint action for the follow-up to the UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2199 and the fight of against illicit trade in cultural artefacts in general.

It is a well-known fact that the destruction, looting, and trafficking of cultural property pose great threats to the physical integrity of cultural objects themselves - and the sites they come from - and also to the preservation of cultural heritage of the affected countries.  It has been also recognized in recent years that there is a risk of terrorists groups generating income from trafficking in cultural property to financially support their operational capability. 

On this occasion, leadership and experts from the WCO, ICOM, UNODC, Interpol, UNIDROIT and other relevant stakeholders, jointly discussed and analysed lessons learnt from the implementation of other relevant UNSC Resolutions, analysed the legal scope of the new UNSC Resolution 2199 provisions on cultural heritage at international and national levels, identified implementation priorities and challenges; identified key national stakeholders for the implementation; and discussed the monitoring of the implementation.

The pivotal role played by Customs in protecting cultural heritage was highlighted by the Secretary General and recognized by participants. He stressed that international borders still offered the best opportunity to intercept stolen cultural artefacts, but added that Customs officers must be well-equipped to discharge this mandate for which timely and accurate information exchange as well as exchange of actionable intelligence was critical.

The Secretary General remarked that collaboration and coordination is the key and to this end he highlighted the value of communication tools such as ARCHEO and suggested working closer with all stakeholders to enhance the network. He additionally indicated the importance of international operational activities, such as Operation Odysseus, led by WCO RILO Western Europe and supported by the WCO, to raise awareness and enhance international cooperation and capacity building in this domain.

Cover photo - © UNESCO/P. Chiang-Joo