KELVIN MBEWE, Lusaka
ZAMBIA has been elected as vice-president of the UNESCO subsidiary committee which looks at prohibiting and preventing illicit import, export and transfer of cultural property.
The election means that Zambia will represent the interests of all state parties to the convention in sub-Saharan Africa.
This is according to a statement released by Ministry of Tourism and Arts public relations officer Sakabilo Kalembwe.
“Before ascending to the position of vice-president, Zambia was elected as a member of the subsidiary committee states parties to the 1970 convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit export and transfer of ownership of cultural property, thereby making it a potential candidate to serve on the bureau of the subsidiary committee,” he said.
Mr Kalembwe said the country has a mandate of one year as vice-president of the subsidiary committee and four years as a member of the subsidiary committee.
“At the end of the 1960s and in the beginning of the 1970s, thefts were increasing both in museums and at archaeological sites, particularly in the countries of southern Africa. It is in this context that this important legal instrument was born which Zambia ratified on June 21, 1985,” he said.
He said one of the key aims of the convention is to assist member states take preventive measures against illicit trafficking of cultural property.
“This is done through inventories, export certificates, monitoring trade, imposition of penal or administrative sanctions, and educational campaigns,” he said.
Mr Kalembwe said the convention will advantage Zambia in taking important decisions in assisting countries to protect their cultural property from illicit trafficking.