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2020-11-22 16:39
UNESCO EXPRESSED READINESS TO ASSIST IN PROTECTING CULTURAL HERITAGE SITES IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH
UNESCO is ready to assist Armenia and Azerbaijan in protecting the cultural heritage in Nagorno-Karabakh region, after the end of the conflict and plans to send a group of specialists there. This is stated in the statement of the director general of the international organization Audrey Azoulay.

As the official website of Organization reports:< On 18 November, the  Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, received the  representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the Organization. 

The Director General recalled the statements made by the United  Nations Secretary- General, who had expressed his relief and welcomed  the agreement on a total ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in  and around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. This accord had been  announced in a joint statement on 9 November by the President of the  Republic of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of  Armenia, and the President of the Russian Federation. 

The Director-General also reaffirmed the universal dimension of  cultural heritage, as a witness to history and as inseparable from  the identity of peoples, which the international community has a duty  to protect and preserve for future generations, beyond the conflicts  of the moment. 

The Director-General would like to recall the provisions of the 1954  Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of  Armed Conflict and its two Protocols, to which both Armenia and  Azerbaijan are parties, and which are based on the States Parties'  conviction that "damage to cultural property belonging to any people  whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind".   She also recalls UN Security Council resolution 2347 (2017), which  stresses that "the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage, looting  and smuggling of cultural property in the event of armed conflict,  including by terrorist groups, and attempts to deny historical roots  and cultural diversity in this context, can fuel and exacerbate  conflicts and impede post-conflict national reconciliation, thus  undermining the security, stability, governance and social, economic  and cultural development of affected States".  The Director-General  of UNESCO reiterates her appeal of 9 October for the protection of  heritage in this region and the absolute necessity of preventing any  further damage.  During these meetings, the Director-General formally  proposed the technical support of UNESCO, who have been unable to  visit these zones to date despite past attempts, and who could, with  the agreement of all concerned parties, carry out a preliminary field  mission, in order to draw up an inventory of the most significant  cultural assets, as a prerequisite for effective protection of the  region's heritage.  With this in mind, UNESCO will work with all  interested partners to create the conditions for such a mission. .  High-level consultations have begun with the States co-chairing the  Minsk Group."

To recall, on October 11 Ara Abrahamyan, as UNESCO Goodwill  Ambassador, sent a letter to the UNESCO Director General, in which he  outlined the emerging critical situation in Karabakh and called on  UNESCO not to stand aside.