Minister of Foreign Affairs Fuad Hussein Chairs Meeting of the Forum of Ancient Civilizations in New York, and Welcomes the Holding of the forum in Baghdad from 4 to 5 December 2022

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Fuad Hussein, has chaired the meeting of the Forum of Ancient Civilizations, on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Iraq in New York, with the presence of representatives of member states of the Forum of Ancient Civilizations, (China, Bolivia, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Italy and Peru).

The attendees emphasized that the world is witnessing multifaceted and multi-level challenges, therefore the dialogue on cultural heritage is an essential pillar in enhancing world peace and realising sustainable development, and it is necessary to take the required measures to protect the natural and cultural heritage from negative impacts, calling on the international community to enhance equality, mutual education and dialogue between civilizations, and confirming the importance of all initiatives aiming at enhancing the dialogue between civilizations, particularly the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).

They expressed their deep concern about the destruction, looting and the illicit dealing in cultural property, including religious sites, and attempts to deny historical roots and cultural diversity, particularly in the context of armed conflicts. The attendees also welcomed the UNESCO central role in protecting cultural heritage and promoting culture as a tool for bringing people and dialogue.

The attendees had conducted fruitful discussions on the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and the need to abide by the international agreements and resolutions aiming at preserving cultural heritage and combating illicit trafficking in cultural property which is sourced from archaeological sites, taken from museums, libraries, archives or traded illegally by collectors of foreign coins, and any acts of vandalism or damage directed against cultural property, particularly in areas of armed conflict.

In conclusion, the members of the Forum of Ancient Civilizations welcomed the holding of the sixth ministerial meeting of the Forum in Baghdad for the period (4 – 5 December 2022).