On the morning of November 14, the 2023 China Theme Forum “International Day Against Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Property” was organized by the National Cultural Heritage Administration of China (NCHA). Themed “We are in Action,” the forum focused on exploring principles and strategies for governments and all stakeholders around the world to collaborate more effectively in the fight against illicit trafficking of goods. cultural.
In his opening speech, Mr. Xie Bing, Deputy Administrator of the NCHA, highlighted the Chinese government’s commitment to combating illicit trafficking of cultural property. He highlighted China’s active implementation of the 1970 Convention, contributing to the development of model provisions on preventing and combating illicit trafficking in cultural property, promoting bilateral exchanges and cooperation and signing agreements with 26 countries on the prevention of illegal importation and importation. export of cultural goods. Xie highlighted China’s efforts to revise domestic laws and regulations to align its legal framework with international conventions, strengthen capacity building and raise awareness through the return and restitution of displaced Chinese cultural objects.
Xie expressed China’s willingness to strengthen the exchange of experiences with countries around the world, jointly raise a strong voice with countries facing losses of cultural relics, strengthen collaboration with stakeholders. of the art market, to strengthen efforts against the illicit trafficking of cultural property and to actively participate in international governance. , and contribute to these collective efforts.
On the side of UNESCO, Ms. Duong Bich Hanh, program specialist for culture at the UNESCO Regional Office for East Asia, praised China’s efforts in the fight against illicit trafficking, expressing his gratitude for China’s strong support for UNESCO. She also proposed strategies for collaboration with China, focusing on mobilizing various stakeholders, promoting regional cooperation, leveraging digital technology, strengthening public awareness and education, and exploring synergies with the six UNESCO cultural conventions. Referring to the MONDIACULT 2022 Declaration adopted at the World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development in Mexico, Ms. Hanh stressed the need for an open international dialogue for the return and restitution of cultural property and a commitment strengthened in the fight against illicit trafficking.
The forum brought together a wide range of international and national speakers from various sectors. The regional attache of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement presented the collaboration and achievements between the United States and China in combating illicit trafficking of cultural property and repatriation of displaced cultural objects to their country of origin, and expressed hope for more fruitful cooperation with China. A representative of China’s Ministry of Public Security discussed initiatives and effectiveness in cracking down on various crimes against cultural property, focusing on special operations aimed at disrupting illicit trafficking chains and strengthening the information sharing. The representative of the General Administration of Customs of China shared the agency’s experience and practices in strengthening cross-border law enforcement and judicial cooperation, and highlighted international joint actions against illicit trafficking.