Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the possibility of designating the destruction of cultural heritage as an early warning sign of atrocity crimes, in line with the requirements of the UN Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes; and what plans they have to support (1) the preservation of the cultural heritage, and (2) the protection of places of worship, of endangered (a) ethnic, and (b) religious, communities in (i) Iraq, and (ii) Syria.
The UK remains active and committed in this field. The UK was a penholder on UN Security Council Resolution 2347, which treats protection of cultural heritage as an issue of key importance to international peace with implications for national security. In Iraq and Syria, UK support for cultural heritage protection has ranged from providing psycho-social support to Yazidi women trafficked by Daesh, to addressing illegal antiquities trafficking through the flagship Cultural Protection Fund. The UK government is considering further work in both Iraq and Syria through the next round of the Cultural Protection Fund.