Last week was marked with a historic event: UN Security Council adopted the first ever resolution focusing on cultural heritage. The Resolution received unanimous support that reflects a new recognition of the importance of heritage protection for peace and security.
Security Council calls for systematic protection of cultural heritage objects. The Resolution provides for bringing to justice for war crimes (under certain circumstances) those directing unlawful attacks against cultural objects of any kind: sites and buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, or historic monuments.
The full text of Resolution 2347 (2017) is available in six official languages at: http://undocs.org/en/S/RES/2347(2017)
For some comments please address: http://en.unesco.org/news/security-council-adopts-historic-resolution-protection-heritage
Another interesting news in this regard is formation at the end of March 2017 of the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (ALIPH), coordinated by UNESCO, and aimed prevention of heritage site destruction, fighting trafficking of stolen artifacts, paying for restoration and creation of a global network of storage and safeguarding sites.
Seven countries (France, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Morocco, Luxembourg and Switzerland) and one philanthropist from the USA (USA themselves are not among the donour countries) pledged a total of $75.5 million for the above purpose. Italy, Great Britain, the Republic of Korea, Germany, China and Mexico promised “physical”, not monetary, support.
With regard to the above, it is also worth to note the recent decision by the International Criminal Court, which for the first time convicted a defendant for the war crimes of intentionally directing attacks against religious buildings and historic monuments and buildings, available at: https://www.icc-cpi.int/mali/al-mahdi/pages/al-mahdi-videos.aspx
In the cases Prosecutor v. Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, the latter, alleged member of the armed group associated with Al Qaeda, was found guilty as a co-perpetrator of the war crime consisting in intentionally directing attacks against heritage sites (religious and historic buildings) in Timbuktu, Mali. Sentenced to 9 years of imprisonment.