Hosts: International Committee of the Blue Shield and International Committee of the Red Cross
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Where: room 15
Cultural property is the manifestation of the identity of a people. Its destruction is often irreversible. Safeguarding it therefore helps preserve the dignity of victims of armed conflict in the long term, as well as strengthening resilience and reconciliation mechanisms between former belligerents.
In times of war, cultural property is protected both by the general provisions of international humanitarian law protecting civilian objects, and by the provisions of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. Adopted in 1954, this instrument enshrines special protection for the cultural heritage of peoples. It was supplemented by an additional protocol adopted in 1999.
Despite the existence of detailed provisions under international law concerning its protection, cultural property continues to be subject to pillaging and destruction. Some recent conflicts have even seen a particularly worrying development: deliberate and irreversible destruction of cultural property of great importance for all humanity.
This side event will be an opportunity to review the existing regimes for the protection of cultural property, the synergies between the different conventions, and the roles of the various parties concerned, and to recall the measures that States must take to prevent, suppress, prosecute and repair any destruction.
The side event will also identify practices and initiatives that could improve protection of cultural property.