France ratifies the 1999 Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention


France ratified the Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention on 20 March 2017, bringing to 72 the number of States that have ratified this Protocol. It took 17 years after its adoption in 1999 before it was presented as a bill in Parliament in November 2016[1], on behalf of Mr. Valls, then Prime Minister. A few months later, Act No. 2017-226 of 24 February 2017 confirmed the process of ratification by authorizing France's accession to the Second Protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict[2].

This ratification is part of a broader context for France’s respect and participation in the safeguard of cultural property. In 2015, France co-sponsored United Nations Security Council Resolution 2199 condemning the looting, destruction and trafficking of Syrian and Iraqi heritage. France is also working closely with UNESCO to protect cultural property in the event of armed conflict, particularly in the Iraqi and Syrian territories. As a member of the United Nations Security Council, France has also adopted Resolution 2347 of 24 March 2017, which reiterate the importance of the protection of cultural property from the risks associated with armed conflicts, led in particular by terrorist groups.

It is important to mention that France is the first member state of the United Nations Security Council to ratify the Second Protocol, setting an example and paving the way for further ratifications.

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