Cultural Property (Armed Conflict) Bill [Lords]

Written evidence submitted by Mark Dunkley FSA MCIfA (CPB 03)

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

Thank you for the opportunity to submit evidence on the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill. As a professional archaeologist, I have both a professional and personal interest in this matter.

Committee members will be aware that widespread attention has been given to the destruction of cultural property in places of armed conflict with the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights most recently declaring that the destruction of cultural heritage is a human rights issue.

There is therefore a need to pass the domestic legislation (to enable the UK to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention and both its Protocols as quickly as possible) in order for the UK to become the world leader in the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict.

Coupled with the Cultural Protection Fund (administered by the British Council), the legislation, and subsequent ratification, also assists the UK in meeting objectives for cultural diplomacy. It should also be noted that when the UK ratifies the Convention and both of its Protocols it will become the first of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council to do so.

November 2016

 

Prepared 16th November 2016