The persecution of people based on their ethnicity and the deprivation of their intangible heritage has become part of the human tragedy in the Middle East, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO told RT’s Oksana Boyko in ‘Worlds Apart’.
When one “persecutes people on the basis of their ethnicity or religion, destroys their monuments, their temples, deprives them of their intangible heritage, attacks their identities – they stop being humane,” she said.
She stressed that there is an urgent need to curb the industrial-scale looting of archaeological sites and trafficking of goods in order to cut the extremists’ financing.
“We should not forget that this is a criminal activity that further finances terrorism, extremist activities, persecution of people. It’s not just looting. It’s not just because we love art that we are doing this. It has a deep meaning for peace and security,” she said.
Bokova reiterated the importance of UN Security Council Resolution 2199 introduced by Russia and adopted in February. The resolution condemned the destruction of cultural heritage and enforced legally-binding measures to counter the illicit trafficking of antiquities and cultural objects from Iraq and Syria.Read the full story here.