MONROVIA, November 10 (LINA) – The Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) team of the official Liberian delegation to the 38th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris has held talks with several stakeholders in the information, cultural and tourism sectors.
The team, headed by Deputy Information Minister Isaac W. Jackson and Assistant Minister for Culture Louise Mcmillan, held talks with the UNESCO World Heritage Protection Treaties Section, which comprises of Edouard Planche, Program Specialist; Madam Marina Schneider, Consultant and Maria Jose’ Minana, Associate Program Specialist.
In their discussion, the UNESCO World Heritage officials were concerned about progress being made relative to Liberia signing into law the 1970 Convention on prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of cultural property and the 1995 Convention on stolen or illegally exported cultural objects and other international legal instruments on illicit trade.
Ministers Jackson and Mcmillan informed the UNESCO officials that the processes and procedures leading to domesticating the conventions were far advanced in Liberia, as the compilation of the convention was taking place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to a dispatch from the Liberian Mission in Paris.
The MICAT team, however, requested assistance from the Cultural Heritage Protection Section to send some experts to Liberia to assist in doing proper inventory of all of the artifacts in the country for appropriate record keeping.
The two Liberian officials made requests for training opportunities for the Liberian National Police, tBureau of Customs and Bureau of Immigration to ensure that they acquire professional training to prevent illicit exportation of cultural properties from Liberia.
At the same time, the MICAT team made another appeal for a Liberian lawyer to be trained preferably in Italy to assist in drafting of the Conventions into domestic laws.
The team’s requests were accepted in the affirmative, the dispatch said.
In a related development, the MICAT team held discussions with Mr. Guy Berger, the Director of the Division of Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Communication and Information and his team.
During the discussion, Deputy Minister Jackson briefed the team about progress that has been made in Liberia about press freedom and free expression under the Sirleaf administration.
Jackson said the Sirleaf-led government has passed more media-friendly laws than any government in the history of Liberia and appealed for equipment and training for Information Officers to build their capacity in media and communications matters.
Director Berger accepted Deputy Minister Jackson’s appeal and promised to grant the training opportunities.