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Warsaw: Seminar on the implementation of the Hague Convention for the protection of cultural property and Protocols

04-10-2005 News Release

Regional Central European seminar on the implementation of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of armed conflict and its first and second Protocols, Warsaw, 2-4 October 2005.

On 2-4 October 2005, the Polish Ministry of Culture and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) jointly organised in Warsaw, in association with the Polish Red Cross Society, a regional Central European Seminar devoted to the implementation of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its first and second Protocols. The event associated governmental officials from six States (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland), as well as experts from Austria, Slovenia and the United Kingdom and representatives of the ICRC and of UNESCO.

The objectives of the Seminar were to discuss the international legal regimes for the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict under treaty based and customary international humanitarian law and to review the actions undertaken by the States of Central Europe towards the national implementation and wide dissemination of these rules in their domestic law and practice.

The participants in the meeting also reviewed measures adopted in their respective States towards accession to and implementation of the Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention. They also called for an active participation of all States of the region in the sixth Meeting of States party to 1954 Hague Convention and the first Meeting of States party to the Convention's 1999 Second Protocol, scheduled on 26 October 2005 at the Headquarters of the UNESCO in Paris.

Recalling the tragic events of the Second World War and of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the resulting destruction of invaluable cultural property, participants agreed that it is essential to st rive for universal adherence to and respect for international standards,  if the cultural heritage of humankind is to be preserved for future generations. The participants also noted the relevance of further consideration for the implementation of these norms on a regional level and, where appropriate, within the framework of concerned regional European organizations.