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Ratification and accession by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and accession to, its First Protocol (The Hague, 14 May 1954) and its Second Protocol (The Hague, 26 March 1999)

On 12 September 2017, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland deposited with the Director-General its instruments of ratification of the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and of accession to its First and Second Protocols.

The instruments were accompanied by the following declarations.

“Hereby Declare that the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland makes the following declarations in relation to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention, the Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict 1954 and the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict 1999 done at the Hague on 14 May 1954, 14 May 1954 and 26 March 1999 respectively:

1. It is the understanding of the United Kingdom that military commanders and others responsible for planning, deciding upon, or executing attacks necessarily have to reach decisions on the basis of their assessment of the information from all sources which is reasonably available to them at the relevant time.

2. The United Kingdom understands the term “feasible” as used in the Second Protocol to mean that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all circumstances ruling at that time, including humanitarian and military considerations.

3. It is the view of the United Kingdom that, when referred to in the Second Protocol, the military advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not only from isolated or particular parts of the attack.

4. The United Kingdom recalls the Declaration made by the Republic of Mauritius on its accession to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention 1954 as to the purported territorial application of the Convention.

The United Kingdom rejects the claim contained in the Declaration made by Mauritius that the territorial application of the Convention extends to the Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia. In particular, the United Kingdom rejects the claim by the Republic of Mauritius that the Chagos Archipelago, which the United Kingdom administers as the British Indian Ocean Territory, is part of Mauritius. The United Kingdom has no doubt about its sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean Territory/Chagos Archipelago. Mauritius' purported extension of the Convention to this territory is unfounded and does not have any legal effect.”
[Original: English]

In accordance with the terms of Article 33(2) of the Convention, Article 10(b) of its First Protocol and Article 43(2), the Convention and its two Protocols will enter into force with respect to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland three months after the deposit of these instruments of ratification and accession, that is to say on 12 December 2017.


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Author(s) Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs
Source UNESCO
Publication Date 26 Sep 2017
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