Culture Minister Raymond Araiji and UNESCO Director General Irna Bokova on Friday launched "United in favor of heritage in Lebanon" campaign in a ceremony held at the National Museum.
The ceremony came in the context of UNESCO's pressed efforts to support the Arab youth to participate in programs in favor of protecting cultural heritage and diversity.
Bokova gave a speech during the event which is the following:
Lebanon plays also a vital role in the fight against the trafficking of cultural objects.
And it is no coincidence that our strategic partners have chosen Lebanon as a platform to support UNESCO's action to safeguard and monitor Syria's cultural heritage.
Coordinated by the UNESCO Office in Beirut, the operation, launched in March 2014 to protect Syrian cultural heritage and prepare the post-conflict priority actions, is a telling example.
Supported by the European Union, this project works along three core lines of action:
1. First, to ensure continuous knowledge and updated documentation through the establishment of an International Observatory of the Syrian cultural heritage, based here in Beirut.
2. Second, to protect and safeguard cultural heritage through technical assistance and capacity building of national actors, for the protection of tangible heritage and museums during and after the conflict.
3. Lastly, to raise awareness to counter the destruction of heritage, through campaigns like #unite4heritage, which I launched at the University of Baghdad in March, and which we launch here together today.
As always, Lebanon is leading the way.
When thousands of young people, students, civil servants, diplomats, representatives of civil society and even tourists gathered recently in the city of Tyr, a World Heritage Site -- to stand together against the destruction of cultural property, to respond to the propaganda of hatred -- building on the rich heritage of Tyr, whose influence has planted seeds all over the Mediterranean.
This is leadership -this is inspiring.
With its unique social fabric, its relentless defence of freedom of expression, its skilled, committed and educated youth -- UNESCO relies on Lebanon to take the lead in this campaign.
In response to violent extremism, we must stand together and show all cultures are linked, we must explain the value of heritage, and we must resist the lies and hatred.
There is no stronger foundation on which to build a better future for all.
This was UNESCO's mandate, written in 1945 after a devastating world war - and this remains our mission today, at a time of turbulence, uncertainty and change.
For all these reasons, I see this museum as more than a temple of culture - this is a place of knowledge inseparable from the life of societies, it is a place for all of us to Unite for Heritage.