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Promoting cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue

Culture counts – this is the message that runs through UNESCO’s cultural programme.

Protecting and conserving cultural heritage, preserving and promoting cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue are among its core tasks.

UNESCO is a laboratory of ideas and sets international norms. The targeted destruction of cultural assets during the Second World War led to the adoption of the 'Hague Convention' (Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict). Since that time, UNESCO has developed or initiated further internationally binding legal norms for the preservation of culture.

UNESCO Conventions for the Protection of Cultural Assets

  • Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970)
  • Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention, 1972)
  • UNIDROIT - Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (1995; UNIDROIT is the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, Rome)
  • Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001)
  • Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003)
  • Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005)


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