Just when the outer limits of one’s ability to be shocked by the depths of human iniquity seem to have been exceeded, something more cruel and brutal comes along that defies the definitions of outrage and horror. Such is the case with the recent videos released by the "Islamic State" featuring a cruel orgy of killings and now followed by the wanton destruction of universally valued cultural treasures in Iraq.   

Of course, the orchestrated intention behind these videos is precisely that: to continue to shock the world through an endless broadcast of increasing brutality. At the risk of unintentionally abetting  the aim of the "Islamic State" to publicize their escalating crimes against humanity, ICOMOS cannot remain a silent witness to the arbitrary and unjustified massive extermination of individuals, communities and our shared cultural heritage and memory.  A simple expression of repudiation on our part is futile and no longer an adequate response given the magnitude of the atrocities being perpetrated. The shared task to be assumed now is to stop the insanity through whatever means may be available.

For this reason, ICOMOS fully supports the call issued by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council in the hope that the international community can put in place the means to end this downward spiral into savagery.

2015-01-29 18.25.22

After 27 years of loyal service as ICOMOS International secretariat's general handyman, Antonio Medina has to leave us. We wish him all the best for this new chapter of his life and thank him for his constant kindness, patience and efficiency.

The secretariat staff

On 20 January 2015, ICOMOS invited the States Parties members of the World Heritage Committee and IUCN to participate in a meeting to discuss the changes that have been and will be undertaken in order to improve the efficiency and rigour of the advisory work carried out by ICOMOS in the context of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention (1972) as well as to propose mechanisms for an upstream and more cooperative dialogue with the States Parties regarding nominations to the World Heritage List.

WH2015 2

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