04 November 2023, Rome: The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, participated in the opening of the 33rd session of the General Assembly of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM).
Held at FAO headquarters on 2-3 November, the two-day event focuses on the most recent concerns and pressing issues related to the preservation of cultural heritage in Member States. The opening session saw the participation of ICCROM Director-General, Ms Webber Ndoro; Ms Maria Tripody, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, and Mr Lazare Eloundou, Director of World Heritage at UNESCO.
“FAO shares ICCROM’s dedication to promoting the conservation, knowledge-sharing and dissemination of best practices for the conservation of cultural heritage worldwide,” Qu underscored while delivering opening remarks.
The Director-General added that the longstanding collaboration between FAO and ICCROM shows how important it is to draw upon heritage to build a better world for future generations.
‘’ICCROM’s experience on diversity, indigenous knowledge, cultural expression, and the links between culture and nature is in line with FAO’s work,” he said, inviting delegates to work together to protect, promote and preserve culture.
Qu highlighted FAO’s work with local farming systems that are rich in local knowledge and traditional practices that affect global agrifood systems, nature, biodiversity and natural resource management, and reminded participants that the Organization safeguards agricultural heritage systems under the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Programme.
“Heritage sites can provide answers to the main challenges arising from the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and food insecurity. We must learn from the way these communities have been wisely sustainably managing natural resources”, he urged.
The Director-General also reminded delegates of how both Organizations have already jointly implemented projects on sites designated as both GIAHS and World Heritage Cultural Landscapes.
“Through our collaborative work we can strengthen the social, economic, and environmental roles of these heritage sites,” he underlined.
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