The European Association of Middle East Librarians / Association
Européenne des Bibliothécaires du Moyen-Orient
MELCOM International, the European Association of Middle East
assembled in Beirut at its 25th annual conference
Deplores the destruction and theft of Iraqi libraries, archives and
contents following the US and British led invasion and occupation of
in April 2003. This occurred in breach of the United Nations Convention on
the protection of cultural property of countries under military
Commends the efforts of UNESCO, IFLA and other international bodies to
assess the extent of this damage and deplores the recent action of the
occupying powers in refusing entry into Iraq to accredited
Insists that the international library community, of which it is part,
a full and unimpeded role in assisting Iraqi colleagues to restore, as
as possible, their library and archival heritage and infrastructure, a
process MELCOM International is willing to contribute to by offering the
professional expertise of its members.
Proposes to send a highly qualified professional from among its members
into Iraq to assess the situation and to report to the Board.
Supports the initiatives taken by our North American colleagues of the
Middle East Librarians Association (MELA) and related organisations.
Beirut, 28 May 2003