G7 Cultural Summit: Discussions and Results
News, Intercultural Dialogue, Museums as Social Agents, EU Culture Policy, Urban Development | 03.04.2017

From 30-31 March 2017 the first G7 Cultural Summit was held in Florence, Italy. The safeguarding of cultural heritage and the role of culture for intercultural dialogue were discussed during the meeting of the cultural ministers of Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the USA as well as the European Commissioner for Culture and UNESCO's Director General.

During technical sessions of experts and law enforcement as well as during the meeting of the G7 culutral ministers the destruction and illicit trafficking of cultural heritage and goods were discussed.

A week prior, on 24 March, the UN Security Council had unanimously adopted Resolution 2437/2017 - it addresses the protection of culture and the promotion of cultural pluralism in the event of armed conflict.

The seven ministers signed a joint declaration condemning the destruction of cultural sites and calling upon the international community to intensify their fight against the illegal trafficking of cultural goods. They emphasised the importance of cultural heritage and their belief that it contributes to identity, dialogue, growth of society and is driver of technological innovation. In the declaration a response to the destruction of cultural heritage through armed conflicts, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, as well as to the looting and trafficking of art was affirmed, including legal instruments and international cooperation for their protection.

The role of UNESCO was particularly supported in the declaration: "We affirm the leadership role of UNESCO in coordination of international efforts within its mandate to protect cultural heritage, working closely with Member States and relevant international organizations"

But the ministers also called upon each individual State to fight the trafficking, looting and destruction of cultural heritage: "We encourage all States to prioritize the safeguarding and enjoyment of cultural heritage, including through the promotion of public awareness and education, in order to preserve the memory of the past for future generations, to foster cultural development, and to encourage cultural dialogue and peace among nations"

The ministers also welcomed the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 (EYCH), which NEMO is strongly involved in.