U.S. National Statement by
Alternate Permanent Representative, U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies in Rome, Dionandrea Shorts
at the 33rd Session of the ICCROM General Assembly
November 3, 2023
It is a privilege to address you today from Rome, one of the world’s leading centers of cultural heritage. I would like to extend sincere thanks to our Italian hosts for your leadership across the multilateral space.
The United States would like to thank the Secretariat and the Council for the substantive reports. We would also like to congratulate Director-General Ndoro for his leadership, strategic thinking, and significant achievements during this biennium. We look forward to partnering with the newly-elected DG Aruna Gujral and to building together on recent progress to facilitate the strategic vision of member states, Council, and the Director-General for this unique institution.
The United States would also like to thank Council Chairman John Robbins for his dedication and effective tenure on the Council since 2017.
The United States commends ICCROM for its quick action in support of Ukraine’s cultural heritage in response to Russia’s unjust and unprovoked full-scale invasion and acknowledges the impressive work of its First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis program.
To expand capacity within Ukraine to recover and safeguard its cultural heritage – a pillar of Ukrainian cultural identity – the United States is proud to have awarded a grant of $246,000 to ICCROM in March for Phase 1 of its Ukraine appeal, specifically to work with Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy and the Heritage Emergency Response Initiative on risk mapping and analysis of cultural heritage sites damaged during the war.
We are also encouraged to see ICCROM’s programs tackling the cross-cutting issues of cultural preservation and sustainable development as well as climate change, such as the Youth Heritage Africa Program. The United States also recognizes this connection through our Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.
The United States strongly supports ICCROM’s work. We are deeply invested in ICCROM’s success, as the leading contributor of assessed contributions and an active participant in the governing bodies, including ICCROM’s Finance and Audit Committee and General Assembly.
To conclude: Today ICCROM’s mission and international cooperation are more essential than ever. The United States is proud of its partnership with ICCROM, particularly in creating a national emergency response system for cultural heritage in Ukraine, and looks forward to reinforcing our accomplishments with the incoming leadership team. We’re in this together, and we have no time to lose.