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Members' Activities 2018

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Policies for Cultural Heritage Protection in the Muslim World

The important international conference on Protecting Cultural Heritage of the Muslim World was organised jointly by the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) in Istanbul at the end of 2017, with a view to assess the state of the heritage and suggest policies and practices for its further preservation. Knowledge about heritage sites and properties was shared, experiences on preservation and reconstruction work were communicated, and guidelines were formulated as suggestions for future preservation and protection policies and activities.

The conference ended with the adoption of the Istanbul Declaration on the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Muslim World, wherein the OIC Member States, organisations and the world community concerned were called upon to identify frameworks and establish modalities for the enhancement of inter-state cooperation for the protection of heritage and the support of national and international efforts within the framework of the UN charter, as well as to consider the establishment of a Strategy of Joint Islamic Action for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Muslim World in the cultural agenda of OIC. Among a number of recommendations, the Conference called upon the OIC members to link policies of cultural heritage protection with policies aimed at countering extremism, religious and cultural discrimination, xenophobia and Islamophobia, according to the relevant stipulations of the UN charter and its principles. They should also identify the economic, social and tourism aspects of cultural heritage in their different types and categories, and set aims and programmes to further develop and make better functional use of those aspects. The adopted Declaration pointed out the need for cooperation in improving formal education and professional training on the protection of cultural heritage as well as the implementation of joint projects, the recognition and promotion of intangible heritage, and the development of mechanism to document and publicize the Islamic cultural heritage, that is challenged by civil wars and conflicts.

Nowadays, when the Muslim world's cultural heritage - as IRCICA's Director General stressed in his address - faces alarming threats and serious destruction, the Istanbul Declaration is decisive to reinforce international cooperation in the protection of cultural heritage.

For further information, please visit: https://www.ircica.org/international-conference-on-protecting-cultural-heritage-ofthe-muslim-world-held-in-istanbul-1-2-november-2017/irc1195.aspx

Culturelink Team