Protecting cultural heritage from combatants promotes human rights and universal values – Ban; UN News Center

Safeguarding cultural property that combatants aim to damage encompasses part of larger endeavours to defend human rights and universal values, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling on the international community to intensify efforts to protect such treasures and end their illicit trafficking.

“Combatants that attack cultural treasures want to damage more than artefacts – they aim to tear at the fabric of societies,” the UN chief said in remarks presented by Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at a high-level event entitled “Protecting Cultural Heritage – an Imperative for Humanity: Acting together against the destruction and trafficking of cultural property by terrorist groups and organized crime.”

“And protection is about more than shielding stones and buildings – it is a part of our effort to defend human rights and save people’s lives,” he added.

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