Appeal for Respect for Human Rights, Cultural Conventions in Gaza and Israel
24 October 2023
Our hearts have been heavy as we have witnessed the suffering of Israeli and Palestinian civilians over the past weeks. The unfolding humanitarian crisis in the region bears a heavy reminder that in the face of conflict, it is innocent life that suffers the most. We wish to express our condolences and solidarity with our colleagues, library professionals, and all people who are suffering incomprehensible loss and pain in this time.
Calling for immediate humanitarian aid is of the highest priority. We implore all parties to uphold respect for human rights and dignity, in line with international law, and find a pathway to peace.
Within IFLA’s mandate, we also express concern for the destruction of libraries, their collections, and cultural property of all kinds in the face of this conflict.
Cultural property and the spaces, sites, and institutions which safeguard it offer an irreplaceable record of our shared cultural heritage. We call on all parties to recognise their obligation under international law, as Parties to the 1954 Hague Convention, to take all feasible action to safeguard and respect all cultural property in the region.
As an organisation rooted in the realisation of human rights, we appeal for the respect of international humanitarian law and the protection and safety of civilians, journalists, and cultural heritage. It is only through respect for our shared humanity that a lasting peace can be found.
IFLA President 2023-2025
IFLA Secretary General