Blue Shield - Objectives

Presentation2 Page 03 Image 0001OBJECTIVES

The cultural equivalent of the Red Cross, the Blue Shield aims to protect cultural and heritage sites from attack in times of armed conflict or civil disturbance, and from natural disasters. It also aims to promote awareness of the importance of preserving heritage sites and their contents in peacetime and during conflict. The basis for the Blue Shield is the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property and its additional first and second protocols.



Nominating bodies to the International Committee of the Blue Shield and to national Blue Shield committees are:

  • ICA (The International Council of Archives)
  • ICOM (The International Council of Museums)
  • ICOMOS (The International Council on Monuments and Sites)
  • IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations)
  • CCAAA (The Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations) 



The UKIRB (UK & Ireland Blue Shield) Committee was inaugurated on 13 March 2001. The UKIRB was located within the National Preservation Office based at the British Library. The UKIRB Office supported a Steering Group comprising representatives from ICA, ICOM, ICOMOS and IFLA, and others and a wider forum that brought together other organisations and individuals interested in disaster planning for cultural heritage, cultural property in the UK and Ireland. The UKIRB was an official ICBS national committee and the members formulated an ambitious agenda of training, lobbying for ratification of the Hague Convention protocols and for education of defence forces in the principles of cultural heritage protection. However, it became clear that it would be more appropriate to have a separate Irish Blue Shield grouping given the fact that the UKIRB Committee operated within two separate jurisdictions with quite distinct differences in terms of international engagement.


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