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Alfano: “Defending cultural heritage is key to fostering peace and sustainable development”

These were the words used by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, in commenting with great satisfaction the adoption by the General Conference of UNESCO of the Appeal “Protecting Culture and Promoting Cultural Pluralism: the key to lasting peace”, promoted by Italy and read out in the United Nations’ six official languages by children and adolescents from different parts of the world.

“The Appeal – affirmed Minister Alfano – is addressed to governments but above all to young generations, urging them to protect their cultural heritage and the values that it represents for Humankind. It is a solemn act that reminds us that protecting cultural heritage and pluralism is essential to foster peace, security and sustainable development.”

The Minister proudly recalled that, for the first time, Italy was elected to hold the Presidency of the UNESCO Culture Commission to which the Appeal was submitted. He went on: “It is the result of an action promoted with conviction by our Country within UNESCO, which has led the international community to progressively acknowledge the importance of defending cultural heritage as the expression of the identity of all peoples, and cultural pluralism as the necessary precondition for peaceful coexistence and sustainable development.”

He added: “It is within this context that Italy was the first of all the Organization’s Member States to establish a national Task Force to combat illegal trafficking, made up of cultural property experts and members of the Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Property.”

Minister Alfano also announced that at the end of the month, during the presidency of the United Nations Security Council, Italy will organise an event dedicated to these issues in the wake of Resolution 2347 which, for the first time ever, establishes a link between cultural heritage and maintaining peace and security. 

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