Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict

Belgium

Declaration made upon ratification:
"In accordance with Article 16 § 2, a) of the Protocol and the principle of nondiscrimination, Belgium criminalize the conduct set forth in Article 15 of the Protocol without regard to the exception in Article 16 paragraph 2, b )."

Canada

Declaration made upon accession:
"Statement of Understanding
1. It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that the definition of a military objective in Article 2(f) is to be interpreted the same way as Article 52(2) of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
2. It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that in relation to Article 6(a)(ii), 6(b), 7(a), 7(b), 8, 13(2)(a) and 13(2)(b) the word "feasible" means that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations.
3. It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that in relation to Article 6(a)(ii), 6(b), 7(c) and 7(d)(ii) that the military advantage anticipated from an attack is intended to refer to the advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not from isolated or particular parts of the attack.
4. It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that any cultural property that becomes a military objective may be attacked in accordance with a waiver of imperative military necessity pursuant 10 Article 4(2) of the Convention.
5. It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that a decision to invoke imperative military necessity pursuant to Article 6(c) of this Protocol may be taken by an officer commanding a force smaller than the equivalent of a battalion in size in circumstances where the cultural property becomes a military objective and the circumstances ruling at the time relating to force protection are such that it is not feasible to require the decision to be made by an officer commanding a force the equivalent of a battalion in size or larger.
6. It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that under Article 6(a)(i), cultural property can be made into a military objective because of its nature, location, purpose or use."

France

The instrument of accession contained the following declaration.
« La République Française comprend la référence faite, à l'article 13, paragraphe 2, alinéa c), du Protocole, à la « légitime défense immédiate », comme n'affectant en rien le droit de légitime défense tel que prévu par l'article 51 de la Charte des Nations Unies, et déclare qu'il appliquera les stipulations de l'article 13, paragraphe 2, alinéa c), du Protocole dans la mesure où l'interprétation de celles-ci ne fait pas obstacle à l'emploi, conformément au droit international, des moyens qu'il estimerait indispensables pour riposter à une menace immédiate en situation de conflit armé.
La République Française comprend que tout bien culturel qui devient un objectif militaire au sens du Protocole peut être attaqué selon une dispense pour nécessité militaire impérative en vertu de l'article 4, paragraphe 2, de la Convention.
En référence à l'article 16, paragraphe 1, alinéa c), du Protocole, la République Française indique que les juridictions françaises pourront poursuivre toute personne, ressortissant d'un Etat partie au présent Protocole, qui réside habituellement en France et qui s'est rendue coupable des infractions visées aux alinéas a) à c) du paragraphe 1er de l'article 15. La poursuite de ces infractions ne pourra être exercée qu'à la requête du ministère public. »[Original: French]

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Declaration made upon accession:
"Considering the special importance of protecting cultural heritage of nations against damages caused by war,
Bearing in mind the fact that cultural heritage of nations is deemed as part of cultural heritage of humanity,
Considering that full protect of cultural heritage against damages caused by armed conflicts needs the protections more than that which is provided for in the present Protocol,
The Islamic Republic of Iran regards the conclusion of bilateral and multilateral supplementary agreements to the present Protocol as necessary and states its readiness to conclude such agreements. These agreements shall entail the granting of privileges and providing more possibilities for protection of cultural heritage of nations and shall also articulate the rules stipulated in the Protocol including customary rules of international law, in a way that solely include the rules that are not protested by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and as well as explain more clearly the modality for the implementation of provisions of section 4 of this Protocol."

Declaration made upon accession:
"Accession of the Islamic Republic of Iran to this Protocol shall not mean the recognition of any country it does not recognize, neither shall it give rise to any commitment toward such states or governments."

Mali

The letter of transmission of this instrument contained the following request:
"Le Gouvernement du Mali, se référant à l'article 44 dudit Protocole, sollicite sa ratification avec une application à effet immédiat." [Original: French]

New Zealand

Declaration made upon accession:
"[…] DECLARES that, consistent with the constitutional status of Tokelau and taking into account the commitment of the Government of New Zealand to the development of self-government for Tokelau through an act of self-determination under the Charter of the United Nations, this accession shall not extend to Tokelau unless and until a Declaration to this effect is lodged by the Government of New Zealand with the depositary on the basis of appropriate consultation with that territory;"

United Kingdom

The instruments were accompanied by the following declarations:
"Hereby Declare that the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland makes the following declarations in relation to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention, the Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict 1954 and the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict 1999 done at the Hague on 14 May 1954, 14 May 1954 and 26 March 1999 respectively:
1. It is the understanding of the United Kingdom that military commanders and others responsible for planning, deciding upon, or executing attacks necessarily have to reach decisions on the basis of their assessment of the information from all sources which is reasonably available to them at the relevant time.
2. The United Kingdom understands the term "feasible" as used in the Second Protocol to mean that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all circumstances ruling at that time, including humanitarian and military considerations.
3. It is the view of the United Kingdom that, when referred to in the Second Protocol, the military advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not only from isolated or particular parts of the attack.
4. The United Kingdom recalls the Declaration made by the Republic of Mauritius on its accession to the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict with Regulations for the Execution of the Convention 1954 as to the purported territorial application of the Convention.
The United Kingdom rejects the claim contained in the Declaration made by Mauritius that the territorial application of the Convention extends to the Chagos Archipelago including Diego Garcia. In particular, the United Kingdom rejects the claim by the Republic of Mauritius that the Chagos Archipelago, which the United Kingdom administers as the British Indian Ocean Territory, is part of Mauritius. The United Kingdom has no doubt about its sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean Territory/Chagos Archipelago. Mauritius' purported extension of the Convention to this territory is unfounded and does not have any legal effect." [Original: English]