Paris, 23 April—From 25 to 26 April, UNESCO will host a high level conference, Protecting Cultural Property, International Conference on the 20th anniversary of the 1999 Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention, in Geneva, Switzerland, to take stock of successes and challenges in implementing the 1954 Hague Convention, with a particular focus on its Second Protocol, and provide a coherent vision for the future.
The Second Protocol complements the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, with enhanced protection and recognition of individuals’ criminal responsibility in cases of heritage destruction. To date 82 States have ratified the Second Protocol.
Two-hundred and fifty participants, including experts, government ministers and stakeholders are expected to attend the conference, which is organized with the support of the Government of Switzerland.
Opening the conference will be Pascale Baeriswyl, State Secretary, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Switzerland, Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, Balthasar Staehelin, Deputy Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.
Panel sessions will focus on an historical overview of the 1999 Second Protocol, successes and challenges surrounding its implementation, the human rights approach to the protection of cultural heritage, modern armed conflicts emergency response mechanisms, international criminal law, and on the role of non-governmental actors in supporting implementation. Experts will share their experience and discuss examples such as those of Mali and Syria