UNESCO/World Heritage - Q&A (26 Apr. 2022)
Q: Russia, which is chairing UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, announced on April 21 that it was postponing the committee meeting that was supposed to be held in Kazan this June. Do you have any comment?
A: This postponement comes at a time when we have been actively asking – since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine – to find a solution so that the World Heritage Committee would meet neither in Russia nor under Russian leadership at all.
France wishes to underscore its commitment to finding an alternate solution quickly so that the World Heritage Committee can meet to continue its work.
Russia’s actions in Ukraine violate the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, as well as the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. The Ukrainian heritage has suffered considerable damage; according to UNESCO, more than 100 monuments and cultural establishments have been damaged or destroyed. These facts were underscored by 46 States Parties to the 1972 Convention, including France, in a letter to the 21 members of the World Heritage Committee on April 7.