UNESCO chief urges immediate cessation of hostilities at Palmyra world heritage site

“I am deeply concerned by the situation at the site of Palmyra. The fighting is putting at risk one of the most significant sites in the Middle East and its civilian population,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a press release issued today. “It is imperative that all parties respect international obligations to protect cultural heritage during conflict, by avoiding direct targeting, as well as use for military purposes.”Inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the historic city of Palmyra contains the ruins of “one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world.” From the 1st to the 2nd century, the art and architecture of Palmyra, standing at the crossroads of several civilizations, married Graeco-Roman techniques with local traditions and Persian influences. UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal value as part of its mandate to protect heritage and support for cultural diversity. With conflict engulfing both Syria and Iraq and Islamist extremists fanning across a region rich in archaeological and cultural heritage, Ms. Bokova has increasingly voiced outrage over the practice of cultural cleansing which, she says, risks destroying millennia of history. Reiterating her appeal for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” in Syrian city, the UNESCO chief called on the international community “to do everything in its power to protect the affected population and safeguard the unique cultural heritage of Palmyra.”Despite the international community’s ongoing attempts to halt the violence, the situation in Syria continues its downwards spiral. Some 12.2 million people, including 5.6 million children, now need humanitarian assistance.By conservative estimates, more than 220,000 Syrians have died in the conflict, but that number is likely much higher. read more

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First Communions HarleyDavidsons and abortion The week in numbers

first_imgEVERY WEEK, TheJournal.ie offers a selection of statistics and numerical nuggets to help you digest the week that has just passed.€1.06 billion – The size of the fine handed down to computer chip company Intel for abusing its dominant position in the market. Ouch.20,000 – The number of Toyota cars being recalled in Ireland over a possible airbag defect.6,000 – The approximate number of South Korean police who entered a religious compound to find the businessman wanted in connection with April’s ferry disaster.3,679 – The number of women who had abortions in England and Wales last year who gave an Irish address. The figure is down 7.6 per cent on last year.€764 – The average amount of money spent on First Communions for children, according to new research. Recession? What recession?90 – The age that former US president George HW Bush turned on Thursday. He celebrated by doing a parachute jump.70 – The percentage of people who would choose to work, when faced with situation where they would be better off financially by claiming social welfare, according to new ESRI research.50 – The percentage of times that BMI can be wrong when testing whether someone is obese or not, according to research at NUI Maynooth.43 – The percentage of Irish houses which are being bought by investors. The figure has more than tripled since last year.12 – The number of files the Department of Health removed from the National Archives in the days after the revelations about mother and baby homes broke. The Department has now said the files will be returned.4 – The percentage of support that the Labour Party now has, according to the most recent opinion poll.3 – The number of Harley-Davidson motorbikes bought by the HSE for the National Ambulance Service.Want more? Check out our previous ‘In numbers’ pieces >last_img read more

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