Iran’s Envoy: Cultural properties should not be subjected to unilateral coercive measures

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi stressed that cultural properties should not be subjected to unilateral coercive measures.

Cultural properties are “a common heritage of humankind,” Takht Ravanchi said in a statement about “Return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin” before the UN General Assembly on Monday.

“Cultural properties, while truly considered as a common heritage of humankind, contribute to shaping cultural and national identity of countries of origin and are a testament to their civilizations, values and cultures. Ownership of cultural property is an inalienable human right of the people of their soil. Consequently, the international community shares a common responsibility as well as legal and ethical obligation to not only preserve and protect cultural property but also secure its return to the countries of origin.”

He continued “The illegal international cross-border movement of cultural objects is still an ever-increasing concern for countries of origin, including my Country. As the Secretary-General indicates in his report”.

“Threats to movable cultural heritage have continued to increase and have taken new forms.” In addition to the traditional main catastrophic causes leading to the illicit trafficking of cultural properties, such as conflicts, occupation and foreign interventions, trafficking and trade through the illegal market by terrorist groups with the aim to financing terrorism has emerged as one of the main vehicles for the trafficking of cultural properties that has been exacerbated in recent years, especially after the creation of DAESH and Al-Qaeda.”

“My delegation expresses its satisfaction with the inclusion, in the draft resolution before us today, of its proposal on countering the financing of terrorism through the illicit trafficking of cultural properties and the obligations of States to return those items to the countries of origin, as indicated in “The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy: seventh review.”

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