WORKSHOP ON COMBATING ILLICIT CROSS-BORDER TRAFFICKING IN CULTURAL PROPERTY IN THE REGION OF THE OSCE ASIAN PARTNERS HELD IN MONGOLIA 2 SEPTEMBER 2019
A five-day awareness raising workshop on combating illicit cross-border trafficking in cultural property concluded on 30 August 2019 in Ulaanbaatar. More than 40 participants from the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Mongolia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand took part in the event. They represented police, border and customs services, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports as well as other entities such as anti-corruption agencies and academia.
The workshop was organized in close coordination between the Border Security and Management Unit of the OSCE Secretariat, the Italian OSCE Chair of the Asian Contact Group, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Sports of Mongolia.
“There is more evidence globally that illegal looting of cultural goods and artefacts and destruction of common historical heritage are used by criminal groups and terrorist organizations to generate tremendous profits. This is why we need to raise awareness about it and to assist professionals from different agencies to discuss what tools and new methods are available to jointly fight this phenomenon. The workshop demonstrates the OSCE’s continuous commitment to addressing this phenomenon building on the work done during 2018, when Italy chaired the OSCE and made it one of key priorities,” said Isa Ghivarelli, representative of the Italian OSCE Chair of the Asian Partners for Co-operation Contact Group.
The participants were familiarized with current developments as well as detailed case studies, legal framework and best practices in criminal justice responses to trafficking in cultural property. The workshop was conducted by experts from as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the Federal Bureau of investigation, the United States Homeland Security Investigations, the Carabinieri Command for Protection of Cultural Heritage, the International Partnerships, the Trade Operations and Law Enforcement Coordination Department of Canada, INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization.
“We believe that this workshop serves as a platform to determine an efficient response to organized crime and terrorism by cutting a significant funding source,” concluded Dennis Cosgrove, Head of the OSCE Secretariat’s Border Security and Management Unit.