United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Third Meeting of the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict

On 4 June 2008, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, opened the Third Meeting of the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, established by the Second Protocol (1999) to the 1954 Hague Convention.*

Commending the Committee on the success of its second meeting, held at UNESCO from 17 to 19 December 2007 and which resulted in the development of Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of the Draft Guidelines for the Implementation of the Second Protocol, the Director-General encouraged it “to continue the important task of elaborating the draft guidelines through collective examination of three additional draft chapters, focusing on the dissemination and monitoring of the implementation of the Second Protocol, and international assistance…” Emphasizing “that the elaboration of the Draft Guidelines and their submission for endorsement to an Extraordinary Meeting of the Parties later this year is not an end in itself,“ Mr Matsuura said that “rather, it is the beginning of a process that will make the Committee fully operational and thus contribute to providing more effective protection for our shared cultural heritage.”

Referring to the issues covered by the additional draft chapters, the Director-General said that “in order for it to be applicable both in the event of armed conflict and in peacetime…… the Parties, as well as those High Contracting Parties considering ratifying the Second Protocol, need to be familiar with the basic principles related to its dissemination. However, the national dissemination of such principles must be adapted to the specific conditions of each Party.”

Continuing, Mr Matsuura said that while “it is important that the reporting system is comprehensive in order to cover the main tenets of the domestic implementation of the Second Protocol and/or the Hague Convention…..it should not place an undue burden on the Parties, for doing so might discourage them from reporting. A balance needs to be struck.” The Director-General also underlined that international assistance ”is a clear manifestation of solidarity among the different Parties. No Party requesting international assistance should feel alone in its efforts to protect cultural property.”



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* In votes held on its opening morning, the Committee elected Mr Karim Peltonen (Finland) as its Chairperson. El Salvador, Japan, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Netherlands were elected as Vice-Chairpersons and Ms Photini Panayi (Cyprus) was elected as Rapporteur.

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Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 069-2008 -  Publication Date: 05-06-2008

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