PARIS, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) - Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova on Thursday urged all parties involved in the conflict in Syria to safeguard the cultural heritage in the country and to take the necessary measures to prevent further destruction.
"UNESCO is determined to use its expertise and its networks to help the Syrian people preserve their exceptional cultural heritage," the Director-General said. "Protecting heritage is inseparable from protecting populations, because heritage enshrines a people's values and identities."
"I urge all parties to take all necessary precautions to stop the destruction of Syria's cultural heritage, which includes some of the most precious in the world," Bokova said.
The call was made following a meeting of experts on Thursday at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris , where they examined an action plan aimed at preventing further losses and repairing damage where and when it will be possible.
The meeting was chaired by Ms Bokova and brought together Lakhdar Brahimi, the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria; Stefano de Caro, Director-General of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM); Hanna Pennock, interim Director General of the International Council of Museums (ICOM); Philippe Allard, Director General of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS); alongside representatives of Interpol, the world's largest international police organization; the World Customs Organization (WCO); the European Union and UNESCO experts.
They endorsed UNESCO's continuing action to raise awareness and share information about the status of Syria's heritage, notably the country's six World Heritage sites, important archaeological sites, and moveable heritage, including museums and other collections.
"There is no culture without people; and no society without culture," said Bokova at the close of the meeting.