The Blue and white shield of the Convention with a wide red border

The distinctive emblem of cultural property under Enhanced Protection. The emblem is a protective symbol used during armed conflicts and its use is restricted by law.. 

We offer our congratulations to Ukraine, who ratified the 1999 Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict on 30 April.

“Ratification of the said Protocol will enable Ukraine to request UNESCO to provide technical assistance in the organization of the proper protection of its cultural values, preparatory, preventive or organizational measures in case of emergency, as well as to obtain additional instruments in the organization of monitoring and protection of cultural values ​​on the temporarily occupied territories” a spokesperson said (in Ukrinform.net)

The 1999 Second Protocol clarifies and tightens the measures in the main 1954 Hague Convention, and makes the entirety of the main Convention and First Protocol applicable in a non-international armed conflict. In particular it also: outlines safeguarding measures states parties should undertake; clarifies military necessity; expands the provisions relating to protection of cultural property in occupied territories; and makes signatory states party to a system of Enhanced Protection for sites “of the greatest importance to humanity”. It brings in a system of criminal responsibility and jurisdiction in line with modern international law, clarifying the severity of crimes against cultural heritage (which at their most severe may be a war crime). Lastly, it creates an Emergency Fund for the protection of cultural property, which signatory states may request money from, and enables parties to call upon UNESCO for technical assistance in organizing the protection of their cultural property.

Ukraine was one of the first states parties in the world to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict on 06/02/1957, shortly after it opened for signing.

Learn more about the 1954 Hague Convention and 1999 Second Protocol in our Law Library