Monday 14 July 2008

Britain should ratify Underwater Cultural heritage Convention

There are only 17 nations who so far have ratified the UNESCO convention on the protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001) and its Annex.

In order for it to enter into force, twenty states parties need to ratify it.

The British take pride in the fact that for a large part of recent history Britain was one of the prime sea powers, both naval as well as in terms of commerce. There is a fair bit of British cultural heritage scattered across the bottom of the world's seas.

Despite this, Britain is one of those nations that is still resisting ratifying this document. If we are intend to protect our global cultural heritage it is essential that all nations respect the spirit of the Convention, enforce abidance by the rules of the Annex to the Convention and establish administrative and funding mechanisms to allow the effective implementation of the Convention as soon as possible.

Of course that would get in the way of escapades like the British government’s hypocritical “HMS Sussex" deal with Florida based commercial treasure hunters Odyssey (yes, the same ones mixed up in the so-called “Black Swan” affair).

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