Tag Archives: armed conflict

USCBS Presents Awards for Outstanding Public Service

On March 8, 2017, Nancy C. Wilkie, President, U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, presented the USCBS Outstanding Public Service Award for the Protection of Cultural Property to Representatives Eliot Engel and Ed Royce, who were instrumental in the passage of the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act H.R. 1493/S. 1887.

Full text of the USCBS Awards

USCBS Participates in LCCHP 2017 Annual Conference

USCBS President Nancy Wilkie, Knox Thames, and Elizabeth Varner at the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation 2017 Annual Conference

USCBS participated in the 2017 Annual Conference of the Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, held at Georgetown University Law School, Washington, DC on March 10, 2017.  The focus of the conference was Cultural Heritage Law and Policy Updates for which USCBS organized a panel addressing the topic: US Committee of the Blue Shield and US Policy Perspectives on Cultural Heritage in Times of Armed Conflict.

Speakers included:

Nancy C. Wilkie, President, U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield; Member, Interim Board, Blue Shield (International), who provided an  update on recent Blue Shield activities, including the presentation of the USCBS Outstanding Public Service Award for the Protection of Cultural Property to Representatives Eliot Engel and Ed Royce, who were instrumental in the passage of the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act H.R. 1493/S. 1887.

Full text of the USCBS Awards

 

Mark Iozzi, Democratic Counsel • House Committee on Foreign Affairs, on behalf of Representative Eliot EngelMark Iozzi, Democratic Counsel • House Committee on Foreign Affairs, on behalf of Representative Eliot Engel

Jessica Kelch, Policy Coordinator, Counsel at House Committee on Foreign Affairs, on behalf of Representative Ed Royce

Knox Thames, Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South/Central Asia; Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; U.S. Department of State

Elizabeth Varner, Staff Curator, U.S. Department of the Interior, Interior Museum Program; Adjunct Professor, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law; Board Member, Lawyers’ Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation

 

US/ICOMOS and USCBS sign a Memorandum of Understanding

James Reap and Nancy Wilkie, President USCBS sign MOU between US/ICOMOS and USCBS

On March 11, 2017, In Washington D.C., the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield (represented by Nancy Wilkie, President USCBS) and US/ICOMOS (represented by James Reap, Officer of US/ICOMOS and Board Member of USCBS) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for the protection, preservation, and restoration of cultural sites, monuments and objects harmed during armed conflict and natural disasters.

As part of the agreement, both organizations pledge to work collaboratively to assist entities responsible for the protection of cultural sites, monuments and repositories in the case of armed conflict and natural disaster; to compile information concerning tangible cultural heritage located in conflict and disaster zones; and to carry out programs for training military personnel in the law of armed conflict as it pertains to the protection of tangible cultural heritage.

 

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.

Smithsonian and USCBS sign a Memorandum of Understanding

SI/US Committee of the Blue Shield

Nancy Wilkie, President USCBS and Richard Kurin, Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture

On September 19, 2014 the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield (represented by Nancy Wilkie, President USCBS) and the Smithsonian Institution (represented by Richard Kurin, Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for the protection, preservation, and restoration of cultural sites, monuments and objects harmed during armed conflict and natural disasters. They also agreed to work collaboratively to carry out programs for training members of the armed forces of the U.S. and other nations in the law of armed conflict as it pertains to protection and preservation of tangible cultural heritage during armed conflict and natural disasters; to compile information concerning tangible cultural heritage located in conflict and disaster zones; and to share expertise and best practices on the diverse range of topics that affect preservation and protection of tangible cultural heritage during armed conflict and natural disaster.

Corine Wegener, the Smithsonian’s cultural heritage preservation officer and founding President of USCBS

Corine Wegener, the Smithsonian’s cultural heritage preservation officer and founding President of USCBS, who has carried out numerous training programs for the military under the auspices of USCBS, will continue to do so under this joint agreement.