Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Declaration after the conclusion of the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference in the capital has pledged support to the UNESCO’s global coalition to protect endangered cultural heritage.
The conference also approved setting up a $100 international fund and an international network of sage haven to protect the heritage during armed conflicts.
The two-day international conference attended by representatives of 40 nations from five continents concluded on Saturday. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, François Hollande, President of France, heads of states and senior ministers from several countries attended the closing session.
Hollande reiterated France’s commitment to contribute $30 million towards the international fund.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed said cultural heritage is more threatened now than any time before. Taking the steps to stop this threat is not the responsibility of a single nation but the entire humanity. The UAE has hosted this conference as part of that commitment, he said.
About the support to the Unesco’s efforts, the Abu Dhabi Declaration said: 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, said the declaration," the declaration says.