Blue Shield International (BSI) supported the NATO conference “Cultural Property Protection and NATO: Experiences, Practices and Trends”. The two-day event was organised by the Office of the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security. Day one was opened by NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană, who emphasised that “to protect cultural property is to protect our values”. This was followed by talks from senior professionals and panel discussions. Professor Stone, President of BSI, led a panel discussion of senior military and heritage experts to explore understanding of the importance of Cultural Property Protection in all NATO-led missions, operations and activities.
Blue Shield led a closed workshop on day two to look at how NATO can best protect cultural property and what can be learned from state of the art best practice. Attendees included a broad range of military and civilian practitioners, experts and national representatives.
The event is part of a wider suite of NATO activities over the last decade to build cultural property protection into NATO operations. In 2020, BSI and SHAPE J9 signed a Letter of Intent for BSI to support in CPP activity. 2022 saw the released of NATO’s first ever ‘Human Security Approach and Guiding Principles’, which has cultural property protection as one of its key pillars.
The outcome of the conference will support the work currently underway to draft a dedicated NATO policy on Cultural Property Protection.