U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield

ADVOCACY

 

 

 

As a national committee of the Blue Shield, USCBS has advocated for the ratification and implementation of the Hague Convention and its protocols, in line with the stated goals of the International Committee of the Blue Shield.

U.S. Ratification of the1954 Hague Convention

A principal goal of USCBS has been to promote U.S. legal protection for cultural property consistent with the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its First and Second Protocols. Despite the fact that the U.S. had signed the 1954 Hague Convention on 14 May 1954, it did not proceed to ratify the convention. Thus, on 15 April 2008, USCBS, along with other U.S. cultural heritage organizations, submitted a statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of ratification, pointing out that ratification is a crucial step toward improving U.S. foreign relations since it sends a strong signal to all nations that the United States values their cultural heritage. The full Senate voted to give its advice and consent to ratification on 25 September 2008, and on 13 March 2009, the U.S. deposited its instrument of ratification with UNESCO.

U.S. Ratification of the Second Protocol

Although the U.S. is now a State Party to the main 1954 Hague Convention, it still has not ratified either of its two protocols. On 21 July 2014, USCBS issued a statement urging ratification of the Second Protocol, pointing out that cultural property protection is not a static field and that, as warfare methods evolve, so must our means of protection. The Second Protocol addresses these changes by strengthening and clarifying provisions of the 1954 Convention. By ratifying the Second Protocol the United States would become a leader in the field of cultural property protection by being the first major military power to do so.

 

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