ROME, Italy, October 2019, – The 31st General Assembly of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Centre, will be launched at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday the 30th October 2019 at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. The event will conclude on Thursday the 31st of October 2019.
The two-day event will focus on the most relevant issues and topics of concern on cultural heritage promotion and provide a platform to stimulate dialogue on sustainable approaches for the protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage in the world. Delegations of ICCROM’s 137 Member States will meet to discuss and enhance the agency’s strategic directions and work plan, and review its activities for the past biennium 2018-2019. It will elect its new governing Council. The event will also be an opportunity to welcome ICCROM’ newest Member State, Costa Rica.
A Thematic Discussion on “Decolonizing Heritage” will be held as part of the 31st General Assembly on 31 October 2019. The ICCROM Award Ceremony, which is granted to individuals who have contributed significantly to ICCROM’s development, or who have special merit in the field of conservation, protection and restoration of cultural heritage, will also be given on 31 October 2019.
In a statement on the occasion of the 31st General Assembly, Webber Ndoro, ICCROM’s Director-General, expressed his thanks and appreciation for the continuous support and collaboration of all Member States in the implementation of the programmes and activities of ICCROM. “The generous contribution of the Member States of ICCROM is the main pillar of the success of all projects and programmes implemented by ICCROM in many parts of the world”, said Ndoro.
“A special thank-you goes to the host country, Italy, which embraced the center since its creation and continues to provide generous support to ICCROM’s projects and activities all over the world”, added Ndoro. Italy is a major contributor to the budget of ICCROM and has institutional long-standing scientific and technical partnerships, which contribute significantly to the organization. “We truly hope to further our collaboration and to develop an agreement with the Italian partner to support common actions aimed at protecting and improving cultural and natural heritage in Africa and other parts of the world”, said Ndoro in his statement.
The 31st General Assembly marks sixty years of ICCROM’s activities. For decades, ICCROM has partnered with its Member States to support them in safeguarding heritage within their borders and beyond. Working at the international and governmental levels, and with institutions and professionals on the ground, the organization engages and informs new generations of professionals and the general public on the current and future needs of the preservation and conservation of cultural heritage.
“Over the course of sixty years, ICCROM has developed and adopted its programmes and activities to address new challenges and to meet the evolution of the very concept of cultural heritage which, in addition to going beyond national boundaries, has to deal with new issues and risks caused by the effects of climate change, devastating wars and conflicts and neglect by human actions” said Ndoro.
“Sustainable development is also a key objective of ICCROM, particularly in some regions, such as Africa. This includes supporting entrepreneurship opportunities and assuring access to quality education in a more general context of gender equality”, Ndoro added.
In this regard, ICCROM has launched a new long-term regional initiative in Africa that focuses mainly on youth and engages them in caring for heritage – its conservation, resilience, management and promotion on cultural preservation.