By EDDIE OSIFELO
SOLOMON Islands has only ratified two UNESCO Conventions.
- The 1972 World Heritage Convention ratified on the 10 June 1992 and
- the 2003 Intangible Cultural Convention (ICH) ratified on the 11 May 2018.
The country is still to ratify these following UNESCO Cultural Conventions:
- 2005 Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
- 2001 Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage
- 1970 Fighting against the illicit trafficking of cultural property
- 1954 Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
Speaking at the opening of the second UNESCO 2001 Underwater Culture Heritage (UCH) Convention in Honiara yesterday, Director of Culture, Dennis Marita said the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the 2003 Convention of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) were part of the same cabinet paper their Ministry sent to cabinet for consideration in 2017.
“As understood only the ICH Convention was ratified.
“We hope to resubmit a cabinet for the 2005 Convention and the 2001 Convention (UCH) in our next submission hopefully in 2022,” he said.
Marita said Solomon Islands known after the wealthiest King in Biblical History, King Solomon is no mistake at all as the ‘wealth of the Solomons’ is truly obvious in what we see around us today through our people, culture and environment.
He said the ‘water world’ is no exception in which they must not only cherish but also thrive to protect and safeguard from spoils of globalization and manipulation.
“The country’s ratification of the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) is a step in this direction.
“I just want to wish all of you in this workshop, the very best in your discussions so as to better pave a way forward to seeing Solomon Islands a party to this important convention,” he said.
The Ministry of Culture & Tourism is committed to this process and will continue to liaise with UNESCO in this regard through the office of the Culture Department.
The first workshop was held in Honiara in 2009.
The objective of the consultation is to enhance the understanding of the UCH Convention among the national stakeholders, in particular, in terms of its benefits and obligations, and indicate the possible ways towards Solomon Islands’ ratifications of the UCH Convention.