UNESCO – Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the International Conference on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (Brest, 17-19 juin 2019)

This morning in Brest, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, opened, together with Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, the International Conference on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, hosted jointly by our country and UNESCO.

The minister called for the protection of underwater cultural heritage and underscored the need to promote collective solutions to address the threats facing underwater cultural heritage: looting, industrial activity, intensive exploitation of fishing resources. To that end, he stressed the importance of the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage adopted in 2001, as well as UNESCO’s role in issues that fall within its core competencies under the auspices of its director-general. He highlighted our country’s pioneering role in the field of underwater archeology.

With the organization of this conference, France intends to continue its efforts to raise awareness about the need to protect underwater heritage among international stakeholders and to commit to promoting broad accession to the 2001 convention.