NATO Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFCNP), in collaboration with SHAPE J9, organised a one-day event in JFCNP focused on CPP on 30 October 2019. The aim of this event was to provide improved understanding of CPP and the importance of its integration into preparation, planning and conduct of NATO and NATO-led operations and missions at all stages, and in the delivery of education, training, exercises, and evaluation (ETEE). The meeting also served as a venue to discuss the way forward in implementing the Bi-SC CPP Directive. Bi-SC Directive 086-005, “Implementing Cultural Property Protection (CPP) in NATO and NATO-led Operations and Missions” was published in March 2019. The purpose of the Directive is to provide direction and guidance regarding CPP in the preparation, planning and conduct of NATO and NATO-led operations and missions, training, education, and evaluation. It recognises international treaties and, in particular, the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols of 1954 and 1999, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and its Additional Protocols, the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage dated 2001 and its Protocol, relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR), as well as the UNESCO Convention on the Means on Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property of 1970.
Dr Paul Fox presented on the Activating the 1954 Hague Convention in Military Operations, showcasing the results of the training conducted with NATO and other armed forces over the previous two years. He highlighted the military challenge: integrating socio-cultural factors into the operational planning process such that CPP is addressed in the context of realising desired objectives including the protection of civilians and their heritage. Perhaps the key take away point was that activating the 1954 Hague Convention enhances:
- Operational effectiveness
- Alliance/ coalition cohesion
Its operational application is a distinct enabler.