Unite4Heritage – a UNESCO High-Level Event and Technical Conference will be held in Brussels 9-10 June 2016 on the theme: Cultural Diversity under Attack: Protecting Heritage for Peace.
The intensity and the number of attacks against the cultural heritage has increased significantly in recent years. The persecution of individuals for cultural or religious reasons, combined with the systematic destruction of their cultural heritage, marked the emergence of a form of cultural cleansing that is unprecedented in recent history. The targeting of cultural diversity has become a key aspect of the humanitarian and security challenges in the regions concerned. The protection of cultural diversity can contribute to restoring social cohesion and to opening prospects to resolve crises, particularly in protracted conflict situations. Respect for cultural diversity is also essential for reconciliation, national dialogue and reconstruction. The rehabilitation of heritage, the practicing of traditions, but also the strengthening of cohesion through an inclusive social fabric that is respectful of cultural diversity, can contribute to the restoration of security and peace.
To discuss how this vision can strengthen conflict prevention and crisis management policies, UNESCO is organizing a High-level event and technical conference, in partnership with the European Union and with the support from the Government of Flanders. The conference will take place in Brussels, Belgium, on 9 – 10 June 2016.
The programme will include the following topics: Cultural Diplomacy; Protecting Cultural Rights in Protracted Crisis; Culture and Arts for Dialogue, Conflict Resolution and Stabilization; Culture for Recovery, Rehabilitation and Resilience; and Working with Law Enforcement to Protect Cultural Property.
The event develops the policy statements on heritage protection made at the European Culture Forum in April by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. She presented the outline Joint Communication for a Strategy on International Cultural Relations, which the High Representative is preparing together with DG Education and Culture Commissioner Tibor Navracsics – read more