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Monday, 26 March 2001
Page: 25690


Mr Latham asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 6 February 2001:

(1) Is he able to say which states have (a) signed the 1995 Unidroit Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects, (b) ratified the Convention or (c) acceded to the Convention since his answer to question No. 1786 (Hansard, 3 October 2000, page 20676).

(2) Is he able to say what progress has been made in the UK since his answer to question No. 1786 on the recommendation that the British Government should sign the Convention and facilitate early ratification of it.

(3) On what dates have the relevant Departments and agencies met to consider accession by Australia since his answer to question No. 2436 (Hansard, 2 March 1998, pade 147).

(4) On what dates have there been consultations with State and Territory governments regarding accession since his answer to question No. 2436.


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

(1) Since my answer to Question No. 1786 (Hansard, 3 October 2000, page 20676) (a) no states have signed the Convention, (b) no states have ratified the Convention and (c) no states have acceded to the Convention.

For convenience, I attach a list of all states which have (a) signed, (b) ratified or (c) acceded to the Convention.

(2) A Ministerial Advisory Panel was established by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport in May 2000 to advise on how the UK could prevent and prohibit the illicit trade in cultural objects. The Panel looked at a number of measures including accession by the UK to the UNESCO and UNIDROIT Conventions. The Panel's report, released in December 2000, recommended that the UK accede to the UNESCO Convention but not the UNIDROIT Convention. The UK Government is currently considering its position.

(3) Since my answer to Question No. 2436 (Hansard, 2 March 1998, page 147), the relevant departments and agencies, including the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, the Attorney-General's Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have not met at the inter-agency level to consider accession by Australia, nor has a timetable been established to do so.

(4) Since my answer to Question No. 2436 (Hansard, 2 March 1998, page 147), there has been no timetable established for consultations with State and Territory governments.

UNIDROIT CONVENTION ON STOLEN OR ILLEGALLY EXPORTED CULTURAL OBJECTS

(Rome, 24 June 1995)

Entry into force: 1 July 1998 in accordance with Art 12.1 (first day of the sixth month following deposit of fifth instrument).

Internet: http://www.unidroit.org

Participant

Signature

Ratification

Acceptance(A)

Approval(AA)

Accession(a)

Bolivia

29 Jun 1996

13 Apr 1999

Brazil

23 Mar 1999(a)

Burkina Faso

24 Jun 1995

Cambodia

24 Jun 1995

China

7 May 1997(a)*

Côte d'Ivoire

24 Jun 1995

Croatia

24 Jun 1995

Ecuador

26 Nov 1997(a)

El Salvador

16 Jul 1999(a)

Finland

1 Dec 1995

14 Jun 1999*

France

24 Jun 1995

Georgia

27 Jun 1995

Guinea

24 Jun 1995

Hungary

24 Jun 1995

8 May 1998

Italy

24 Jun 1995

11 Oct 1999

Lithuania

24 Jun 1995

4 Apr 1997

Netherlands

28 Jun 1996*

Pakistan

27 Jun 1996

Paraguay

13 Jun 1996

27 May 1997

Peru

28 Jun 1996

5 Mar 1998

Portugal

23 Apr 1996

Romania

27 Jun 1996

21 Jan 1998

Russia

29 Jun 1996

Senegal

29 Jun 1996

Switzerland

26 Jun 1996

Zambia

24 Jun 1995