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Human Rights Council 37: Resolution on Cultural Heritage

This UK statement was delivered during the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council during the discussion on the Resolution on Cultural Heritage.

The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva
The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

I have the honour to explain the position of the UK on draft resolution L.30.

The UK remains concerned about the destruction of cultural heritage and fully supports efforts to protect cultural heritage from the effects of armed conflict. In respect of the draft resolution before us, the UK appreciates the spirit of cooperation with which the main sponsors have conducted the negotiations.

However, the UK remains to be convinced that the Human Rights Council is the most appropriate body to address the issue of protection of cultural heritage, and is concerned at the way the text seems to equate the protection of heritage with the protection of cultural rights.

The UK is concerned that the text strays into matters of international humanitarian law in a somewhat simplistic way. In respect of the targeting of cultural property covered in OP2, the UK is content to join consensus on that paragraph on the understanding that it only covers unlawful targeting.

Notwithstanding these issues, we support draft resolution L.30 and can join consensus.

Published 23 March 2018