The Blue Shield, which was represented by Karl Habsburg (President) and Peter Stone (Vice President), is a non-governmental, non-profit, international organization that works globally to protect cultural heritage in emergency situations. With a growing number of national committees operating across the world and a specific expertise in this field, the Blue Shield network represents an important partner for the ICRC. Acting together and with the continuous support of other actors such as UNESCO, the ICRC will be able to further consolidate activities to promote better protection for cultural property against the devastating effects of armed conflict.
Karl Habsburg, President of the Blue Shield said:
“I am extremely pleased to be signing this MoU with the ICRC as it underlines the fact that the protection of cultural property and heritage is indivisibly interwoven with the protection of people. The Red Cross and Blue Shield focus on, and have expertise in, different aspects of this integrated whole, and our work supports and strengthens each other’s activities. I look forward to a long and very productive relationship.
I should like to thank Benjamin Charlier, of the ICRC, and Professor Peter Stone and his UNESCO Chair team in Cultural Property Protection & Peace at Newcastle University in the UK. Without their work, and Newcastle University’s support, this MoU would not have been possible. Finally, I’d like to thank Jennifer Price Jones for her important contribution in helping develop Blue Shield’s work with the Humanitarian community.” Underlining the value of this partnership agreement, Yves Daccord, Director-General of the ICRC said: “Protecting cultural property and cultural heritage against the devastating effects of war unfortunately remains a humanitarian imperative, today perhaps more than ever. Joining forces with a partner like the Blue Shield through the signing of this MoU is therefore extremely important for the ICRC. I am very pleased with this new partnership and look forward to maximizing the impact of our programs in the field of the protection of cultural heritage, through the coordination of activities with the Blue Shield.”
The following link refers to the ICRC webpages on the protection of cultural property in armed conflict, including to the 2016 agreement signed with Unesco: https://www.icrc.org/en/document/cultural-property-protected-in-armed-conflict
See also : https://blogs.icrc.org/law-and-policy/2020/02/13/cultural-property-protection-humanitarian/