Showing posts with label Jordan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jordan. Show all posts

March 23, 2019

Cultural Property Advisory Committee session - To be Streamed


The US Cultural Property Advisory Committee will meet April 1-3, 2019, to review new requests for cultural property agreements from Chile and Jordan. 

The CPAC committee invites public comment on the requests and the public may participate in the virtual open session of the meeting on April 1, 2019, from 1:30 – 2:30 pm EDT. 

Chile’s Request:  The Government of the Republic of Chile has requested U.S. import restrictions on archaeological material from Chile. This request was submitted pursuant to Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property as implemented by the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act. More information on Chile’s request can be found here

Jordan’s Request: The Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has requested U.S. import restrictions on archaeological material from Jordan. This request was submitted pursuant to Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property as implemented by the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act. More information on Jordan’s request can be found here. 

The Review Process:  The State Department will follow these procedures as it weighs responses to the request for an agreement from Chile and Jordan. 

Comments on the Chile and Jordan: For Chile and Jordan’s requests, public comments should focus on the four determinations described in the procedures above. All comments must be submitted in writing no later than March 25, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). 

Use regulations.gov, enter docket DOS-2019-0004, and follow the prompts to submit written comments. 

Participate in the Virtual Open Session:  The virtual open session of the Committee meeting will be held on April 1 from 1:30 pm to approximately 2:30 pm EDT using Zoom, a web conferencing service. Anyone may attend and/or participate. 

If you are new to Zoom, these tips will help you get started. 

If needed, please request reasonable accommodation not later than March 15 by contacting the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at: culprop@state.gov. 

Requests made after that date will be considered, but it may not be possible to fulfill them. 

To participate:  If you wish to participate in the open session at the meeting, you must request to be scheduled by March 27, 2019, via email (culprop@state.gov) in order to be guaranteed a slot. Please submit your name and organizational affiliation in this request. 

After you pre-register, you will be provided with instructions on how to participate. 

The open session will start with a brief presentation by the Committee, after which participants should be prepared to answer questions on any written statements they may have submitted. Finally, participants may provide additional oral comments for up to five (5) minutes per participant. 

Due to time constraints, it may not be possible to accommodate all who wish to speak. 

To observe: It is not necessary to pre-register. The webinar will include a chat space for conversation among observers. The chat space will not be monitored by the Committee and will not be incorporated into the record of the meeting. 

To join as an observer: Click the link to join the webinar: https://eca-state.zoom.us/j/463744513 

Or by Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 669 900 6833 Webinar ID: 463 744 513 

International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/aciF0sNigl

More Info: https://eca.state.gov/highlight/cultural-property-advisory-committee-meeting-april-1-3

May 25, 2018

Countering Antiquities Trafficking (CAT) in the Mashreq

From April 16 – 20, 2018 I had the pleasure to be one of a specialised group of trainers for Countering Antiquities Trafficking in the Mashreq: A Training Program for Specialists Working to Deter Cultural Property Theft and the Illicit Trafficking of Antiquities, a programme developed through the Secretariat of the 1970 Convention, the unit responsible for the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. 

Funded through UNESCO's Heritage Emergency Fund, the multidisciplinary practical training programme took place at UNESCO's Regional Office in Beirut, and involved experts working with and in collaboration to UNESCO — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, a specialised agency of the UN based in Paris,  ARCA — the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, UNIDROIT — the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, ICOM — the International Council of Museums, UNODC — the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and INTERPOL— the International Criminal Police Organization.


The CAT in the Mashreq training program was developed to provide technical support (risk management measures, situational interpretations, drawing conclusions, making recommendations) to staff from governmental authorities, art professionals, academics and decision-makers who work in fragile source countries, the very places where illicit antiquities originate and where heritage trafficking incidents are known to occur.

Developed by professionals for professionals, who understand the necessity of tackling the prevalent issues contributing to heritage crimes and cross-border smuggling of illegally exported antiquities, this initiative, hopefully replicable in more countries, was developed as a means of providing support to the affected source and transit countries of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.

The overarching goal is to help heritage professionals address issues of common heritage concern in countries where civil unrest and social turmoil have contributed to porous borders where the absence of controls contributes to avenues for the looting and trafficking of cultural artifacts, as well as on occasion, incidences of cultural cleansing.

As a part of this ambitious initiative, 32 trainees where invited from the five aforementioned designated countries.  Each trainee, while there to learn, also contributed from their own professional knowledge, expertise and first-hand knowledge if the issues as they relate to the situation in their own country. Drawing upon my own professional experiences in cross-border policing, museum security and risk management, my objective in the initiative was to build multilateral capacity and to strengthen knowledge as it relates to the intricacies of art crime and heritage protection across jurisdictions.

Criminals work outside border considerations.

Always at the forefront of my training module was to need to develop a purposeful framework, for knowledge transfer and exchange, to be used to develop activities and approaches that move knowledge from those who have first hand experience in a specific area to others who need similar knowledge before during or after a similar incident.  Also of importance was to foster in others, the trust to work collaboratively and to be open to learning from one another as I believe it takes a non-political, multidisciplinary and multi-visionary approach to adequately deter and detect incidents of art crime as they across country boundaries.

There’s a difference between crime prevention and crime reaction:  Changing the way we think.

My contribution to the week-long training was to guide and coach participants through interactive case studies and exercises, promoting a proactive and systematically collaborative mind set to heritage risk management.  To that end,  I believe I was able to encourage the participants to take into consideration a variety of unexplored approaches to site security and protection.


This was done not only by analyzing and reviewing past incidents after they occur, in order to deter cultural property theft and illicit trafficking but to also fulfill my own goal for this training which was to raise individual and agency understanding of the need for a more proactive prevention and preparation approach, by predicting what types of emergencies might occur in advance of an incident or an all-out crisis, in order to rectify deficiencies in risk management, to prevent incidents from happening.

This was done by demonstrating the use of practical, proactive security measurements, proactive planning, predictive analysis, threat and risk management assessment, many of which can be applied to the conflict theatre and could be applicable to the situations occurring in this specific region.

During my module participants were given real world proactive vs. reactive examples of security measures and risk management advance planning techniques as this is the single most important thing an organisation can do to defend itself against a threat, i.e. understanding its existing vulnerabilities and setting up a framework for addressing them before incidences can occur.   By sharing and coordinating relevant information and existing security processes my goal was to help trainees be better able to protect assets, people, property (tangible and intangible), and archival information, before a loss occurs.

With so many incidents happening in the last decades in this region we still tend to look at the conflict itself and how to stop the trafficking of stolen goods after they have already been taken.  We need to start thinking outside the box and start looking how we can predict those incidents before they occur, and with that knowledge how we can find and develop solutions, measurements and support how to prevent them. And for the record, no I do not mean that this can stop a conflict, I mean that if it obvious that there can be a conflict, we should not wait until it is happening and react to it then.

Time to look further ahead as well as looking back.

Although I understand the current situations occurring in this zone, and the sensitive feelings of those involved, knowing that until now, their focus has been on getting the stolen, plundered or otherwise stolen or destroyed cultural heritage objects back, it is also time to look forward and try the prevent the next possible situation to happen.  I’m proud and honoured that I was asked to be part of this training and hope that a little seed of proactivity was planted, and there, will continue to grow.

Dick Drent, CPE
Founding Director, Omnirisk
Associate Director, SoSecure Intl.
Museum and Site Risk Management Expert