Enforcement of Restitution of Cultural Heritage through Peace Agreements

Oxford University Press
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Enforcing International Cultural Heritage Law, 2013, 1, pp. 22 - 39
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Peace agreements consolidated in modern times provide an important source of international law. They have been especially significant in the formulation of the international and regional protection of cultural heritage from the early 20th century onwards.' There has been a marked escalation in the number, and a transformation in the nature, of armed conflicts since the end of the Cold War.2 Most are intra-state conflicts, with many driven by ethnic and religious differences,3 with minorities and indigenous peoples 'often the targets, rather than the perpetrators of violence'.4 This period has also witnessed a concomitant proliferation in peace agreements.s Although peace agreements covering intra-state conflicts had increased, a significant proportion of conflicts resumed, particularly those with an 'ethnic' element.' The UN Secretary-General noted, '[N]urturing ethnic cultures and traditions lay[s] the foundations for lasting stability'.'
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