ABU DHABI, 30th November 2016 (WAM) — Presidents, heads of states, formal delegations and representatives from over 40 countries have confirmed their participation at the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage conference, taking place on 2nd and 3rd December at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi.
The global conference, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Francois Hollande, President of France, as a global partnership between the UAE and France.
The conference aims to support the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO’s global mandate to protect cultural heritage during armed conflicts, and to safeguard historic sites and monuments that represent civilisations dating back millennia from systematic destruction or looting – like in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Mali, and throughout the world.
The conference has been organised by the governments of the UAE and France in response to the growing threats to some of the world’s most important cultural resources arising from sustained periods of armed conflict, acts of terrorism and illicit trafficking of cultural property.
Over two days, the conference will host H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Amir of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Francois Hollande, President of the French Republic, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of Mali, Mohammed Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, Fayez Al-Sarraj, Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya, Denis Zvizdic, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece, Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah Province, Saudi Arabia, Haitham bin Tariq bin Al Busaid, Minister of Heritage and Culture in the Sultanate of Oman, Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Son of King of Bahrain, and Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO.
The conference will also host key players from private and public institutions involved in world heritage conservation.
The conference’s agenda will focus on improving legal and funding mechanisms to facilitate emergency protection of heritage sites as well as post-conflict rehabilitation. It will also study the development of concrete and innovative solutions, as well as the creation of a global framework for immediate and long-term goals.
Additionally, it will launch the creation of a global network of safe havens as refuges for endangered works, and an international financial fund to sustain long term programmes to preserve cultural heritage, and build on the capacity of conservation professionals in conflict areas.
The conference will conclude with the ratification and adoption of the Abu Dhabi Declaration by the attendees.