BAGHDAD / Representatives from dozens of countries in Abu Dhabi gathered to discuss the possibility of setting up a fund worth / 100 / million dollars to protect and restore the heritage and archaeological sites threatened by extremism and war.
The conference, which will take two days, reflects growing global concern over the damage to archaeological sites in Iraq and Syria at the hands of Daesh terrorist gangs who are using bulldozers and explosives and hammers in cracking and fragmentizing archaeological sites dating back to thousands of years.
Irina Bokova, director of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), said in a speech addressed to the conference "If we want to succeed, we must work together, and be united for the heritage."
She added that the responsible to protect the heritage: "cannot be separated from the protection of the human spirit," describing the deliberate destruction of heritage sites and artifacts as a war crime. "
She continued: The conference aims to form a broad coalition can combine security, humanitarian and cultural matters with the participation of a large number of countries and organizations. "
Five of the Nobel Prize winners directed a call, at the eve of the opening the Conference, to the world to come quickly to save the world heritage sites, pointing to the great destruction that has hit these sites in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Mali.
UNESCO says that / 55 / location of / 1052 / heritage sites around the world are classified as threatened, including Krak des Chevaliers in Homs province and ruins of Palmyra city in Syrian, and what remains of the statues of Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan, and the city of Old Sana in Yemen and the city of Timbuktu in Mali.
40 states participate in the conference, which is the fruit of an initiative put forward by the governments of France and the UAE.
French President Francois Hollande and Emirates Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed will deliver their speeches at the conclusion ceremony of the conference today.
Source: National Iraqi News Agency