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Ukrainian Minister of Culture Tkachenko: “Excluding Russia from UNESCO does not respect the conventions”

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Ukrainian Minister of Culture Tkachenko: “Excluding Russia from UNESCO does not respect the conventions”

«Russia has violated the Hague Convention during armed conflicts, which is why it is absolutely necessary to exclude it from UNESCO and to transfer the 45th session of the Committee for World Cultural Heritage from Kazan. It is impossible now to speak of protecting cultural heritage in a country that ruins it and kills civilians ». This was stated by Alexander Tkachenko, Ukrainian Minister of Culture and Information Policy, speaking via video link during the ministerial conference of the Council of Europe dedicated to the themes of heritage and cultural policies ”.

The conference at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg was chaired by the Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, as part of the Italian presidency of the Council of Europe. «I want to reiterate on behalf of Italy the strongest condemnation for the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian federation, a violation of the principles and norms that regulate the life of the international community. The Council of Europe, an organization that has always placed human rights and freedom of expression, artistic, as bulwarks of its action, must sanction any government that expressly threatens the values ​​on which this institution is founded ”.

“War, an unimaginable challenge”

“When we thought of this Ministerial in a meeting in Rome, we did not imagine that we would have to face an even greater challenge than the many already on the table: the war waged against a member state of the Council of Europe. An unimaginable war that tears apart the European continent three quarters of a century after the reconciliation of which the Council of Europe was a great protagonist ”.

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Thus the Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, addressing the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, at the opening of the works of the Ministerial Conference dedicated to culture and cultural heritage, taking place today at the Palais d’Europe in Strasbourg in framework of the Italian presidency of that body.

«In the face of destruction and senselessness – said the minister – culture must still offer answers and opportunities for regeneration when it is time to restart. During this conference we will focus on the value of Culture and cultural heritage as strategic resources for the sustainable development of Europe, the use of new technologies in the digital transformation and we will conclude the session by talking about policies focused on cultural diversity and pluralism. . We must celebrate the vital contribution of art and culture to our democratic values ​​and listen to the artists who propose essential reflections and questions for our future as a society ». And he concluded: «The war causes huge human losses, huge flows of refugees and a growing humanitarian emergency. And it has already damaged and destroyed part of the Ukrainian cultural heritage. Italy has dedicated important energies over the decades to protecting cultural heritage in crisis areas. Just yesterday I signed a decree that provides for the establishment of the Blue Helmets of Culture. I believe that, if, as Unesco reminds us, cultural heritage is a World Heritage Site, it is right that the international community prepares to intervene and protect it when it is threatened by natural disasters, wars and destruction of any kind. It is therefore necessary that we unite to take the most appropriate measures in support of the Ukrainian people and their cultural heritage ”.

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