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Tuesday, 26 May 1998
Page: 3824


Mr Barry Jones asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 25 March 1998:

(1) Does his Department have to consult with State and Territory governments and agencies in deciding whether Australia is to become a party to the Protocol for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague, 1954); if so, with which State and Territory governments and agencies has his Department consulted and on what dates, in what form and with what outcomes.

(2) Which Parties to the Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague, 1954) are not parties to the Protocol.


Mr Downer (Foreign Affairs) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) No decision has been made as to whether Australia is to become party to the Protocol to the Hague Convention. The Department of Communications and the Arts, the Department of Defence, the Attorney-General's Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue to review this issue at the inter-agency level. In making such a decision, the Commonwealth Department with prime responsibility for Australia's potential ratification of the Protocol for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (the Hague, 1954) must consult with State and Territory governments before Australia could ratify the Protocol, pursuant to the treaty-making process. To date, no such consultations have occurred.

(2) The following countries are a Party to the Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (the Hague, 1954), but are not Parties to the Protocol: Argentina; Australia; Cte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Dominican Republic; Estonia; Kyrgyzstan; Mongolia; Oman; Panama; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; Tanzania; Uzbekistan.