Minister of Foreign Affairs participated in the international conference on “Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East”, in Paris - 08/09/2015
An international conference on “Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East” was held today in Paris, at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministers Conference Center, on the initiative of France and Jordan. The Conference attended by over 60 national delegations, United Nations representatives, the European Union and other international organizations. The Cyprus was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ioannis Kasoulides.
The discussion of the Conference focused around three thematic aspects, while Minister Kasoulides was the Rapporteur in the debate of the second round table concerning political issues.
The aim of the Conference was to identify specific measures to address all aspects of the situation of victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East, meeting the needs of the world that is affected and in danger, facilitating voluntary return in security conditions to displaced persons, promotion of solution policies respecting human rights and ensuring the ethnic and religious diversity of the Middle East.
French President, Mr Francois Hollande, in his opening speech, referred to the situation in the Middle East area, particularly in the disasters imposed by Daesh, the uprooting, the chases and the resulting risks for the whole of humanity.
In his intervention during Conference’s proceedings, Minister Kasoulides, after thanking France and Jordan for their initiative, he stressed the need for a coherent response to the challenges of Daesh. He, then, referred particularly to the issue of the cultural heritage protection and analyzed the experience of Cyprus and its expertise in this area.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs said, on this issue, that the aim of Daesh, through the destruction and exploitation of the cultural wealth, is evident. It seeks, on the one hand, to cut the world out from its historical, ethnological and cultural roots and, on the other hand, to secure funding through the illegal trafficking of archeological objects. Minister Kasoulides stresses that this source of funding is among the three most important sources of financing Daesh.
The Minister added that the legal framework for the protection of the cultural heritage exists, such as for example the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, the relevant resolution of the Security Council (Resolution 2199) or even European directives and bilateral agreements.