Rome - "Italy's election as a member of the International Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict - and its appointment to its governing board - is a further significant recognition of the activity that our Country carries out with UNESCO for the defence of cultural heritage", said Angelino Alfano, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
He went on to say:"This achievement consolidates our foreign policy action in a sector where Italy has conquered an undisputed leadership, a sector which is also of major interest for both the European Union and the United Nations". These were the comments made by Minister Alfano on this important result. He also added: "Cultural heritage is the expression of the identity of all peoples and their origins. Respect for this heritage and its conservation are the foundations on which to build the conditions for peace and coexistence amongst all peoples".
The Committee monitors compliance with the 1954 Convention, the first of UNESCO's Cultural Conventions on the protection of cultural heritage, born from the ashes of the Second World War."In spite of its date of approval (1954)", the Minister went on to say, "this agreement is still dramatically topical in light of the recent systematic and deliberate attacks against cultural heritage in various parts of the world. The work that Italy has promoted within UNESCO on the so-called 'Blue Helmets of culture' unfolded within the context of this important Convention".
The Committee, which is composed of twelve States that hold office for four years, receives and examines the requests for international assistance to protect cultural heritage. It also assigns reinforced protection to the cultural property deemed to be of great importance for mankind.
"I am very proud of this election in which Italy was the Country that received the highest number of votes", concluded Minister Alfano. "Thanks to our acknowledged expertise and to the activities of our Task Force 'Unite4Heritage', we will be able to provide a further fundamental contribution to reinforcing UNESCO's activities in protecting cultural property and assisting any Member State that addresses it for help".