On 30 June 2020, Ukraine further strengthened the protection of its rich cultural heritage by joining 82 other State Parties in acceding to UNESCO’s 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
“Ukraine’s decision to accede to the 1999 Second Protocol is a firm step forward towards the preservation of the cultural heritage of humanity. UNESCO commends the commitment of the Government of Ukraine to safeguard culture and we stand ready to strengthen our cooperation in this crucial area,” said Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.
The ratification of the 1999 Second Protocol follows the adoption of the Law of Ukraine “On Ukraine’s Accession to the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict” of 30 April 2020 by the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada). The 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention creates a new category of enhanced protection for cultural heritage that is particularly important for humankind, enjoys proper legal protection at the national level, and is not used for military purposes. It also specifies the sanctions to be imposed for serious violations with respect to cultural property and defines the conditions in which individual criminal responsibility shall apply. By joining this treaty, Ukraine will be able to request technical and financial assistance from the 1999 Second Protocol Intergovernmental Committee, to put in place measures to safeguard its cultural heritage.
By virtue of its Article 44, the 1999 Second Protocol will enter into force immediately for Ukraine.