#Unite4Heritage is a global movement led by UNESCO that aims to celebrate and safeguard cultural heritage and diversity around the world.
Launched in response to the recent attacks on heritage, the campaign calls on everyone to celebrate the places, objects and cultural traditions that make the world a vibrant place.
“I must say that I am deeply moved, and even impressed, by the mobilization of young citizens, especially in the Arab World, in Cairo, in Amman, in Beirut, in Baghdad and today in Sharjah, who have stood up to share this message,” declared UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, at the launch of the #Unite4Heritage campaign in the United Arab Emirates.
The launch event took place Saturday in the presence of Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, and of Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).
“Along with a humanitarian crisis, we are seeing unprecedented attacks on the cultural diversity of humanity –what I call cultural cleansing, an attempt to erase all forms of diversity and freedom,” said the Director-General underscoring that this unprecedented war strategy aims at tearing societies over the long term.
The Director-General highlighted that this is a battle for the hearts and minds, a battle for tolerance and human rights. “This is why I launched the #Unite4Heritage campaign in March 2015, to counter extremist propaganda and the destruction of cultural heritage, and to mobilize young people across the world for its protection,” she said.
Irina Bokova commended the political commitment of the United Arab Emirates, through the recent International Conference for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Areas, held in Abu Dhabi in December 2016.
Photo courtesy: UNESCO