WATCH INCREASED EFFORT FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 1954 HAGUE CONVENTION
Rome, 20 March 2018
During its yearly meeting on January 11-14, WATCH Board of Trustees decided to promote additional efforts to contribute to the concrete implementation of the UNESCO 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflicts and its two additional protocols.
The Board of Trustees took this decision upon an evaluation of the experience gained by WATCH through the promotion and implementation of several international initiatives focusing on risk assessment and risk preparedness plans aimed to develop DRR policies for the protection of natural and cultural heritage in the beneficiary countries. Results that were achieved also thanks to the institutional support and backstopping received from a large number of highly qualified experts from National and Intergovernmental Organisations including but not limited to: UNESCO, ICCROM, IIHL and several INGOs such as ICOMOS ICORP, ICOM and many Research Centres and Universities in Africa, Asia and Europe.
This decision entails that State Parties or any other legitimate owners undertaking to define and to deploy Disaster Risk Reduction measures for the protection of natural and cultural heritage can now contact WATCH for technical and scientific advisory.
Set contacts and procedures for authorities, agencies, owners responsible for natural and cultural heritage protection will be cast online soon.
Notes for the records:
The implementation of DRR measures to protect natural and cultural heritage is embedded within international humanitarian law and it is a priority for all States Parties of UNESCO Conventions on Culture especially in consideration of:
1. The priorities set within the 69/283. Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 adopted by the UN GA on 3 June 2015;
2. Art. 20 of UN Resolution 2347 (2017) adopted by the Security Council at its 7907th meeting, on 24 March 2017 calling upon UNESCO, UNODC, INTERPOL, WCO and other relevant international organizations, as appropriate and within their existing mandates, to assist Member States in their efforts to prevent and counter destruction, looting and trafficking of cultural property in all forms;
3. The Council of Europe Convention on Offences to Cultural Property. (Treaty No. 221) on Offences relating to Cultural Property aims to prevent and combat the illicit trafficking and destruction of cultural property, in the framework of the Organisation’s action to fight terrorism and organized crime. Nicosia, 19/05/2017.