Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

New York, 24 July 2023

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the Russian Federation missile attack today on Odesa that resulted in civilian causalities and damaged the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-protected Transfiguration Cathedral and other historical buildings in the historic centre of Odesa, a world heritage site.

In addition to the appalling toll the war is taking on civilian lives, this is yet another attack in an area protected under the World Heritage Convention in violation of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.  The Secretary-General is concerned about the threat that this war increasingly poses to Ukrainian culture and heritage.  Since 24 February 2022, UNESCO has verified damage to 270 cultural sites in Ukraine, including 116 religious sites.

The Secretary-General urges the Russian Federation to immediately cease attacks against cultural property protected by widely ratified international normative instruments.  The Secretary-General also continues to urge immediate cessation of all attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure.

Source – UN
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