Representatives of around 40 countries have agreed to create safe havens for endangered art works as well as protecting heritage sites in war zones.

"We are committed to pursuing [these] two ambitious, long-term goals to guarantee the further mobilisation of the international community for the safeguarding of heritage," a statement issued on Saturday after a two-day meeting in the United Arab Emirates capital said.

Islamic State of Iraq destruction of monuments in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra prompted the meeting.

France and United Arab Emirates spearheaded the fund raising, promising to contribute around $30m.

Other states, including the Gulf monarchies and China, have shown a willingness to contribute to the fund which would be based in Geneva, but without specifying amounts. Al Jazeera News reported.

The fund aims to safeguard cultural heritage endangered by conflicts, finance preventive and emergency operations, combat the illicit trafficking of artefacts and help restore damaged cultural property, based on a draft declaration yet to be finalised.

Participants hope the international network of refuge zones under discussion will be used to temporarily store cultural property endangered by conflicts.

Although the debate on how to preserve heritage and treasured works of art is still on, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization will oversee the safeguarding operations.

ALSO READ: Tourist destroys ancient status while taking pictures