Impact & Relevance: World Leaders from over 40 Nations announce $100 million fund to protect endangered cultural heritage via Abu Dhabi Declaration at the International Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference in UAE

The creation of this Fund breaks new ground and I see this as the starting point of something larger – a renewed commitment for culture, education, human dignity, where the protection of heritage is part and parcel of a global strategy against hatred and extremism, to build lasting foundations for peace.”

 

– Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

 

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - December 03, 2016: (front row L-R) HH Prince Aga Khan IV, HH Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani Personal Representative of the Emir Qatar, HRH Prince Khalid al Faisal Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Governor of Makkah Region, HE Ashraf Ghani President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Defence, HE Francois Hollande, President of France, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, HH Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Emir of Kuwait, HE Abdrabbuh Mansour, Hadi President of Yemen, HE Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of Mali, HE Hailemariam Desalegn Prime Minister of Ethiopia, HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, HE Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah Foreign Minister of Oman (R), (2nd row) HE Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece (3rd L), HE Denis Zvizdic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (4th L), HE Jack Lang President of Institut du Monde Arabe (5th L), HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (6th L), HE Irina Bokova Director General of UNESCO (7th L) and other dignitaries, stand for a photograph during the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference at Emirates Palace. (Image credit: PRNewsFoto/Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Auth)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – December 03, 2016: (front row L-R) HH Prince Aga Khan IV, HH Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani Personal Representative of the Emir Qatar, HRH Prince Khalid al Faisal Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Governor of Makkah Region, HE Ashraf Ghani President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Defence, HE Francois Hollande, President of France, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, HH Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Emir of Kuwait, HE Abdrabbuh Mansour, Hadi President of Yemen, HE Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of Mali, HE Hailemariam Desalegn Prime Minister of Ethiopia, HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, HE Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah Foreign Minister of Oman (R), (2nd row) HE Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece (3rd L), HE Denis Zvizdic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (4th L), HE Jack Lang President of Institut du Monde Arabe (5th L), HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (6th L), HE Irina Bokova Director General of UNESCO (7th L) and other dignitaries, stand for a photograph during the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference at Emirates Palace. (Image credit: PRNewsFoto/Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Auth)

 

International Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference Concludes in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Dec 05, 2016, 06:14 ET

ABU DHABI, UAE, December 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ —

Abu Dhabi Declaration announced $100 million fund to protect endangered cultural heritage

UAE leaders, foreign heads of states, prime ministers and dignitaries gathered in Abu Dhabi for the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference. Under the patronage of UNESCO, the conference was an initiative by HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and French President François Hollande aimed at protecting and preserving the endangered cultural heritage of mankind from the destructive results of armed conflicts.

“Heritage, in all its diversity, is a source of collective wealth and encourages dialogue.

 

It is a vehicle for closer relations, tolerance and freedom. In an armed conflict situation, heritage is particularly at risk, owing to its inherent vulnerability and tremendous symbolic value.

 

It is encouraging to see so many of us converge and collaborate to develop tangible goals to safeguard this heritage.”

 

– His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak,
Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

The global conference brought together over 40 countries within the international community affected by heritage loss due to conflict, alongside key players involved in the field of world heritage preservation. It concluded with the announcement of the creation of an international fund for the protection of endangered cultural heritage in armed conflicts. The fund, which aims to raise $100 million by the time it is fully established, will help finance preventive and emergency operations, fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts, as well as contribute to the restoration of damaged cultural property. The announcement was made through the adoption of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, a solemn statement confirming the commitment of all those present to back the fund and their resolve to support the establishment of the foundation.

Several foreign heads of states, prime ministers and dignitaries attended the various sessions across the two days along with HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, President Hollande, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. His Highness Prince Kaim Aga Khan, Leader of the Ismailis was among the foreign officials present at the conference.

“It is for us, citizens of the world, a great pleasure to be united in the magical land of the United Arab Emirates.

 

This conference we are invited to, is a historical event, but the task and the challenges at hand are great. It is time to mobilise the international and public actors to preserve the heritage threatened by war and terrorism. UNESCO has accomplished great work, and we will work hand in hand with them to provide our utmost support. I highly recognise the great work that has been accomplished in the run up to this event.

 

I would like to thank the UAE for their exceptional hospitality and their continuous engagement in the fight for safeguarding cultural heritage.

 

The UAE is a role model in this field and has paved the way towards devising and implementing actionable solutions and we thank them for spearheading this initiative.”

 

– Jack Lang, President of Institut du Monde Arabe

UNESCO’s global mandate is to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts and is pushing towards a new approach to protect culture for peace and security.

“Over the past years, together we have built a new landscape, a new approach for the protection of heritage, bringing together partners far outside the “culture box” – against the deliberate destruction of heritage as a war crime and a key security issue.

 

The creation of this Fund breaks new ground and I see this as the starting point of something larger – a renewed commitment for culture, education, human dignity, where the protection of heritage is part and parcel of a global strategy against hatred and extremism, to build lasting foundations for peace.”

 

– Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

A follow-up conference in 2017 will help assess the implementation of the initiatives as manifested by the ABU DHABI DECLARATION.

Discover, Explore and Learn more via:

 


Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali


 

Social Media

 

Earlier & Related

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan (1st right in navy blue suit) with UAE's ruling leadership, head of states and dignitaries from 40 countries during the 45th UAE National Day celebration (Image credit: Government of Dubai) Mohammed bin Rashid Mohamed bin Zayed, Rulers, foreign heads of state, His Highness Aga Khan attend 45th UAE National Day celebration | Government of Dubai - Excerpt: Other foreign officials who attended the celebration included Prince Aga Khan, Leader of the…
His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan (1st down left) and French President Francois Hollande (6th down left), pose for a photo between Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and UAE's deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces, on his right, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai with the other head of states and dignitaries during the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Image credit: Emirates News Agency via AP) His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan attends Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE - Excerpt: A number of foreign heads of states, prime ministers, dignitaries, experts and government representatives…
The Louvre Abu Dhabi, UAE: Arial view and site plan. Designed by Jean Nouvel, (image credit: Ateliers Jean Nouvel) His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan attends the upcoming new Louvre Abu Dhabi, UAE - French President Francois Hollande, accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of…
His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan at the 45th UAE National Day celebrations in Abu Dhabi -   December 2, 2016 Abu Dhabi: A celebration was held on Friday at the Grandstand…

 

 

The Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference

Reading of "Abudhabi Declaration" at end of historic heritage conference - Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Image credit: Sneška Mihailović - Secretary General of @EuropaNostra - The Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe) Reading of "Abu Dhabi Declaration" at end of the historic heritage conference - Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Image credit: Sneška Mihailović - Secretary General of @EuropaNostra - The Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe)
Reading of “Abudhabi Declaration” at end of historic heritage conference – Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Image credit: Sneška Mihailović – Secretary General of @EuropaNostra – The Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe)

The Abu Dhabi Declaration

His Highness Prince Karim His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan (1st right in navy blue suit) with UAE's ruling leadership, head of states and dignitaries from 40 countries during the Abu Dhabi Declaration, Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Image credit: Gulf Today)Aga Khan (1st right in navy blue suit) with UAE's ruling leadership, head of states and dignitaries from 40 countries during the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Image credit: Gulf Today)

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan (1st right in navy blue suit) with UAE’s ruling leadership, head of states and dignitaries from 40 countries during the Abu Dhabi Declaration, Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Image credit: Gulf Today)

The following is the full text of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, issued at the conclusion of the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference:

“As a mirror of mankind, a guardian of our collective memory and a witness to the extraordinary creative spirit of humanity, world cultural heritage represents the foundation of our common future.

Today, armed conflicts and terrorism, across all continents are affecting millions of men and women, without sparing their centuries-old heritage. Extremists violently – and often deliberately – attack the cultures of the countries of the people they devastate, seeking to destroy the heritage which belongs to us all.
Threatening, attacking, destroying, and looting heritage represents a strategy to weaken the very foundations of the identity of peoples, their history, and the environment in which they build their lives. Without this heritage, their memory is erased and their future is compromised.

Heritage, in all its diversity, is a source of collective wealth that encourages dialogue. It is a vehicle for closer relations, tolerance, freedom, and respect. Its destruction is a threat to peace, as is the illicit trafficking of cultural property that often emerges in times of crisis.

Therefore, as Heads of States and Governments, and their Representatives, International Organisations and Private Institutions, we are gathered here, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, to reaffirm our common determination to safeguard the endangered cultural heritage of all peoples, against its destruction and illicit trafficking. We have decided to collectively join forces.

We commend the call made by the Director-General of UNESCO and express support for the Global Coalition “Unite for Heritage,” launched to protect our shared heritage from destruction and trafficking. We welcome the “Strategy for the Reinforcement of UNESCO’s Actions for the Protection of Culture and Promotion of Cultural Pluralism in the Event of Armed Conflict.”

We need to ensure respect for universal values, in line with the international conventions of The Hague of 1899, 1907, 1954, and the latter 1954 and 1999 Protocols, which require us to protect human life, as well as cultural property in times of armed conflict. This process has to be carried out in close liaison with UNESCO, which has worked tirelessly since 1954 to protect heritage, to combat illicit trafficking, and to promote culture as an instrument to bring people closer together and foster dialogue.

In the spirit of universality and the principles of the UNESCO conventions, we are committed to pursuing two ambitious, long term, goals to guarantee the further mobilisation of the international community for the safeguarding of heritage:

  • The creation of an international fund for the protection of endangered cultural heritage in armed conflict, which would help finance preventive and emergency operations, fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural artefacts, as well as contribute to the restoration of damaged cultural property.
  • The creation of an international network of safe havens to temporarily safeguard cultural property endangered by armed conflicts or terrorism on their own territory, or if they cannot be secured at a national level, in a neighbouring country, or as a last resort, in another country, in accordance with international law at the request of the governments concerned, and taking into account the national and regional characteristics and contexts of cultural property to be protected.

At this conference, we, as Heads of States and Governments, and their Representatives, International Organisations and Private Institutions unite for heritage in support of international efforts to safeguard cultural heritage threatened by armed conflicts and terrorism. A follow up conference in 2017 will help assess the implementation of the initiatives launched in Abu Dhabi and the first projects financed by the international fund.

“We recognise the eminent role of the United Nations and its institutions, and particularly of UNESCO, as the only UN organisation mandated for the protection of culture, and call upon the United Nations Security Council to support us in achieving these goals, in full accordance with the United Nations Charter.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s