With the financial support of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in 2016 the San Remo International Humanitarian Law Institute (Italy) has prepared UNESCO Military Manual for the Protection of Cultural Property during Armed Conflict. This Military Manual, which provides practical recommendations for the implementation of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property during the planning and execution of military operations, was introduced at Operations Policy Committee of NATO on June 14, 2019, at the initiative of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The meeting was attended by the representatives of NATO, its member states and operational partner countries, moreover by UNESCO and the authors of the Manual.
The Republic of Azerbaijan was represented by the Secretary General of the UNESCO National Commission Elnur Sultanov. In his speech, Elnur Sultanov provided detailed information on the measures taken by Azerbaijan under the auspices of UNESCO and at the national level to safeguard cultural property, noting the importance of continued cooperation between NATO and UNESCO in this area. Secretary General also informed Committee members about the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan and the mass destruction of cultural property in the occupied Azerbaijani territories by the Armenian armed forces. Sultanov said that the military guide, prepred by the sponsorship of Azerbaijan, provides effective practical recommendations in the field of protection of cultural property during armed conflicts, adding that Azerbaijan will continue to support international cooperation in this area.
Representatives of the participating countries, NATO and UNESCO praised Azerbaijan's leading role in safeguarding cultural heritage, underlined the importance of the Military Manual and thanked the Government of Azerbaijan for its active support in deepening international cooperation in this area.