The National Defense Authorization Act awaits the President’s signature!

The Senate and the House have passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which now awaits President Obama’s signature. The section of the act described below requires the Department of Defense to submit a report to Congress on its compliance with the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, a treaty that the U.S. ratified in 2009. 

SEC. 1273. REPORT ON PROTECTION OF CULTURAL PROPERTY IN EVENT OF ARMED CONFLICT.

(a) REPORT.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the congressional defense committees and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives a report on efforts of the Department of Defense to protect cultural property abroad, including activities undertaken pursuant to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

(b) ELEMENTS OF REPORT.—The report required under subsection (a) shall include the following:

(1) A description of Department of Defense policies, directives, and regulations for the protection of cultural property abroad at risk of destruction due to armed conflict.

(2) A description of actions the Armed Forces have taken to protect cultural property abroad, including efforts to avoid damage to cultural property during military construction activities and effort made to inform military personnel about the identification and protection of cultural property as part of the law of war.

(3) The status and number of specialist personnel in the Armed Forces assigned to secure respect for cultural property abroad and to cooperate with civilian authorities responsible for safeguarding cultural property abroad, consistent with the requirements of the 1954 Hague Convention.