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ASIL: UN Security Council Adopts Resolution Condemning Terrorist Destruction of Cultural Property (March 24, 2017)

By: Caitlin Behles | May 3, 2017 - 5:22pm
On March 24, 2017, the Security Council adopted a resolution condemning the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage, religious sites and artefacts, and the smuggling of cultural property by terrorist groups during armed conflict. The Council noted that such acts can “exacerbate conflict and hamper post-conflict national reconciliation, thereby undermining the security, stability, governance, social, economic and cultural development of affected States.” The Council also affirmed that unlawful attacks against sites of cultural heritage “may constitute, under certain circumstances and pursuant to international law a war crime and that perpetrators of such attacks must be brought to justice.” The Council further encouraged states to take steps to stop the illicit trade and trafficking in cultural property and “to request and provide cooperation in investigations, prosecutions, seizure and confiscation as well as the return, restitution or repatriation of trafficked, illicitly exported or imported, stolen, looted, illicitly excavated or illicitly traded cultural property.”