NATO Deputy Secretary General: to protect cultural property is to protect our values

  • 09 Feb. 2023 -
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  • Last updated: 09 Feb. 2023 16:21

On Thursday (9 February 2023), Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană participated in the conference on ‘Cultural Property Protection and NATO: Experiences, Practices and Trends’, held at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. In his remarks, Mr. Geoană emphasised that protecting cultural property is above all about protecting a community’s identity and its shared history, values and traditions.

Conference on ‘Cultural Property Protection and NATO

The conflict in Ukraine demonstrates once again that, far from being the subject of care and consideration, cultural property is increasingly becoming the target of deliberate attack. The Deputy Secretary General said that NATO and the wider international community must redouble their efforts to adequately protect it. He recalled NATO’s efforts to protect cultural property in areas of operation, not least in Kosovo. He also referred to the decision made at the Madrid Summit last year to endorse NATO’s first ever ‘Human Security Approach and Guiding Principles’, which has cultural property protection as one of its key pillars.

The conference was organised by the Office of the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security, and brought together a broad range of military and civilian practitioners, experts and national representatives. It aimed to further strengthen NATO’s efforts and understanding of the importance of Cultural Property Protection in all NATO-led missions, operations and activities. The outcome of the conference will support the work currently underway to draft a dedicated NATO policy on Cultural Property Protection.