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News Posted on November 17, 2017

Professor Bennoune Speaks at UNESCO Roundtable

Professor Karima Bennoune spoke at an international roundtable on “Responding to Cultural Cleansing, Preventing Violent Extremism” hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris on October 30.

The high-level panel discussion focused on wide-ranging social and cultural repercussions of attacks on culture – including the denial of cultural rights, the displacement of peoples, and the erosion of cultural expressions. Participants included Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, Faryad Rawandozi, Minister of Culture of Iraq, N’diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, Minister of Culture of Mali, and Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

Professor Bennoune addressed the need for taking a human rights approach to the issue of the destruction of cultural heritage. She also emphasized that education in accordance with international standards is an essential tool in the struggle against all forms of extremism that give rise to such destructions.

Karima Bennoune is an author, lecturer, teacher, and international law scholar as well as the first Arab-American to be honored with the Derrick A. Bell Award from the Section on Minority Groups of the Association of American Law Schools. In 2014, she was awarded the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for her book Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight against Muslim Fundamentalism, now available in paperback from W.W. Norton & Company. In October 2015, she was appointed UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. She was recently presented with the 2016 Rights and Leadership Award by IANGEL, the International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law.