Minister Tajani’s participation in the UNESCO Conference “Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century”

Press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Antonio Tajani, will participate in the Ministerial session of the UNESCO Conference “Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century” on Wednesday, 29 November.

The Conference, held in Naples on 27-29 November and jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Culture, with the support of the Municipality of Naples, hosts representatives and experts from UNESCO’s 194 Member States.

The aim is to promote reflection with experts and representatives from Member States on the new challenges posed to Heritage by excessive urbanization, unsustainable tourism, climate change, and conflicts.

Deputy Prime Minister Tajani said: “Heritage needs to be preserved, promoted and, above all, defended against the threats that undermine it. Taking care of it, in a unanimous and shared way, can help transform places of war into laboratories of peace, favouring the revival of territories and their peoples. Italy has an exceptional experience to share, recognized at the global level also thanks to the record number of Sites registered on the World Heritage List, in addition to the elements registered on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List, such as the Mediterranean Diet and the Art of Neapolitan pizzaiuolo. We are also on the frontline in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property, both through the action of the Carabinieri Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage and through the proactive and convinced commitment of the Italian Archaeological Missions to the recovery and restoration of the artistic heritage of countries in crisis conditions such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and most recently Ukraine.”

On the afternoon of 29 November, Deputy Prime Minister Tajani, together with Minister Sangiuliano, and in the presence of UNESCO Director-General Azoulay, will launch the Call for Action “The Spirit of Naples,” a starting point and hopefully a reference in the future to initiate enhanced dialogue and synergies between the UNESCO Conventions on Tangible and Intangible Heritage, as well as strengthen the role of Culture as a global public good.

The Conference will pay special attention to Africa, a priority continent for UNESCO and the Italian government. Hon. Tajani concluded: “We want to provide support to African countries and countries of the Global South so that their Heritage is more represented on UNESCO lists, and therefore protected. Italy makes its experience and expertise available to achieve this important goal, in view of having a more balanced representation of all Member States in the Lists.”