30 January 2007
The UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office organized, in cooperation with the Tajik National Commission for UNESCO, a Sub-Regional Meeting for the Promotion and Implementation of Conventions for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Central Asia in Dushanbe on 19 and 20 January 2007.The meeting participants discussed measures to promote the ratification and implementation of various conventions that aim to protect cultural heritage, as well as possible solutions to increase the regional cooperation among the police, customs and judiciary institutions in Central Asia.
“We hope that this meeting will make a significant contribution to the development of an integrated approach to the implementation of conventions for the safeguarding of cultural heritage in Central Asia, being tangible, intangible, moveable and immovable”, says Francois Langlois, of UNESCO Almaty Culture Unit.
Besides the various international conventions, the participants also discussed the use of practical tools that UNESCO elaborated to assist countries in safeguarding their heritage, such as the UNESCO/World Customs Organization Model for Export Certificate, the UNESCO Database which compiles the national legislations in force for the protection of cultural heritage, and Object ID, an international standard for describing art and antiquities.
“With the ever-increasing phenomenon of illicit trafficking of cultural property worldwide, it is imperative for Central Asian States to take all possible measures to fight against this growing concern”, says Ms Munzifa Babadjanova, Secretary-General of the Tajik National Commission for UNESCO.
Due to the heavy snowfall and the closing of the Dushanbe airport, the Kyrgyz delegation could unfortunately not join the meeting. However, representatives and experts in the legal protection of cultural heritage from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan arrived on time to participate and made substantial contributions to the debates and the positive results of this meeting.