"Culture for development" and the UNESCO policy on the protection of cultural property during armed conflict
Sigrid Van der Auwera
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International journal of cultural policy, Vol. 20, no. 3, 2014, p. 245-260
UNESCO increasingly points to the value of culture for sustainable development. However, if we review UNESCO policies on the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict, developing countries do not seem to find access or implement them. Consequently, this paper analyses UNESCO initiatives related to the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict from a developmental perspective and explores whether they are adequate and inclusive for developing countries. Data for this paper were gathered from document analyses and additional expert interviews obtained via email questionnaires. The paper finds that UNESCO tends to be willing to improve the situation. However, the ratification rates of the relevant UNESCO Conventions in developing countries remain low, the implementation of these instruments is almost non-existent and the commitment to UNESCO protection policies is insufficient. This is mainly due to a lack of awareness and to the fact that the initiative has to come from the state concerned; the possibilities for international cooperation are still quite limited.