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Westminster: 2 Iraq Questions, Lords, 25 Oct

#1
HANSARD SOURCE

Iraq: British Forces and Civilian Population

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking to improve relations between British forces and the civilian population in Iraq.

Lord Triesman: We are working across a wide spectrum of areas in southern Iraq to improve and maintain the relationship between British Forces and the civilian population.

The British Consulate-General, representing the British Army, and the governor and the committee, representing the provincial council, issued a joint statement on 11 October which agreed that:

"Frank dialogue between British representatives and the representatives of the local government elected by the people of Basra is key to co-operation in regard to the reconstruction of Basra, and in making the necessary security arrangements for achieving the democratic process in Iraq".

The UK continues to support the provincial reconstruction and development committees in planning and implementing projects in each of the oil and fuel, power, health, water and other essential services sectors. British forces assist in the implementation of several Department for International Development (DfID) funded projects, such as short-term employment programmes and the refurbishment of provincial council buildings. DfFD-funded programmes are helping to build good governance capacity in the southern provincial' councils, and to ensure that local government is able to address the needs of the local population now and in the future.

The British forces' involvement in training and equipping the Iraqi Security Forces is another visible demonstration of our commitment to building a stable Iraq in which civilians feel secure and safe.
Iraq: Protection of Cultural Property

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

What cultural properties the British forces in Iraq are seeking to protect; and whether they are holding talks with the Iraqi authorities on additional measures by the United Kingdom to implement the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two protocols.

Lord Triesman: The Government take very seriously the need to respect Iraq's cultural heritage. As United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 of June 2004 stressed, all parties need to respect and protect Iraq's archaeological, historical, cultural and religious heritage. The Iraqi Ministry of Culture has begunimplementation of an Archaeological Site Protection Plan and the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage is working to build an archaeological site patrol force to provide a guard force for cultural heritage sites.

The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict directs that combatants must avoid directing attacks against protected sites, unless there is a military imperative to do so. The UK is in the process of ratifying the convention and its two protocols. This process is still at an early stage and there have been no discussions with the Iraqi authorities relating to the convention. However, UK troops are already acting in accordance with the spirit of the convention.

The UK is a signatory to the 1977 Additional Protocol (AP 1) of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which requires that civilian objects are to be protected from attack, unless that object is being used for military purposes; in which case it may lose its special protected status. UK forces in Iraq have strict instructions not to fire on cultural sites such as mosques and heritage sites, as well as important economic and social infrastructure properties, unless these sites are being used for militarily offensive purposes.
 
#2
hackle said:
Iraq: Protection of Cultural Property

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

What cultural properties the British forces in Iraq are seeking to protect; and whether they are holding talks with the Iraqi authorities on additional measures by the United Kingdom to implement the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two protocols.

Lord Triesman: The Government take very seriously the need to respect Iraq's cultural heritage. As United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 of June 2004 stressed, all parties need to respect and protect Iraq's archaeological, historical, cultural and religious heritage. The Iraqi Ministry of Culture has begunimplementation of an Archaeological Site Protection Plan and the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage is working to build an archaeological site patrol force to provide a guard force for cultural heritage sites.

The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict directs that combatants must avoid directing attacks against protected sites, unless there is a military imperative to do so. The UK is in the process of ratifying the convention and its two protocols. This process is still at an early stage and there have been no discussions with the Iraqi authorities relating to the convention. However, UK troops are already acting in accordance with the spirit of the convention.

The UK is a signatory to the 1977 Additional Protocol (AP 1) of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which requires that civilian objects are to be protected from attack, unless that object is being used for military purposes; in which case it may lose its special protected status. UK forces in Iraq have strict instructions not to fire on cultural sites such as mosques and heritage sites, as well as important economic and social infrastructure properties, unless these sites are being used for militarily offensive purposes.
Right, the majority of the damage to Iraq's cutural heritage has already been done and the government comes up with a ridiculous answer like that! No doubt the British Museum will be retracting it's criticisms about allied policy in Iraq in light of that response :roll:
But on the Avebury front - he truly is one radical liberal (in the 1960s sense, of course) :D
 

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