Conventions are internationally binding agreements between countries or international organisations. They are important tools in the work of safeguarding the world’s natural and cultural heritage.
Conventions in the cultural heritage area oblige the state parties to preserve national historical buildings, monuments and sites, for example through protection, restrictions on trade or special measures in the event of armed conflict. The Directorate for Cultural Heritage follows up the requirements in the conventions and helps other countries to do the same.
A number of conventions are global while others are restricted to one region, for example Europe or parts of Europe. UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention is the best known convention in the field of cultural heritage. It is also the convention that most countries in the world have ratified.
Norway has ratified the following conventions on cultural heritage:
- UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague, 1954)
- UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property 1970
- UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972
- Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe (Granada 1985)
- Council of Europe - European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage (Valetta, Malta 1992)
- UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (1995)
- European Landscape Convention (2000/Council of Europe)
- Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro 2005)
In addition, the following conventions are of relevance to cultural heritage protection:
- Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Rome 1950)
- ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (1989, revision of 1957 Convention)
- Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar 1971)
- Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio de Janeiro 1992, with the Cartagena Protocol)
- Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1994)
- Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Århus 1998) (PDF)
- Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Paris 2003)
- Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Paris 2005)