15 Jun 2016

Cultural Diversity under Attack: Protecting Heritage for Peace

The intensity and the number of attacks against cultural heritage have increased significantly in recent years, particularly in the Middle East and Africa. 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 almost unprecedented in recent history. But can the rehabilitation of heritage and the protection of cultural diversity also contribute to restoring social cohesion? Can it also strengthen conflict prevention measures and even open prospects to resolve crises? How can these cultural rights be protected? What can the security and law enforcement sector do? What is the role of the media?

On 9-10 June 2016, the UNESCO organised a High-level Meeting and Technical Conference in Brussels with the financial support of the Government of Flanders, where individuals and artists who have directly witnessed and experienced this deliberate destruction in their countries will enter in a dialogue with renowned personalities from the humanitarian, academic and law enforcement sector. This conference took place in the framework of the UNESCO #Unite4Heritage Campaign.