The general aim of this Commentary is to explain the provisions of the UNESCO/DOALOS Draft Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage so as to facilitate discussion at the second Meeting of Governmental Experts due to take place in Paris at UNESCO Headquarters from 19 to 24 April 1999.
The Commentary follows the arrangement of the Draft Convention, article by article. It includes the amendments, which were submitted during the first Meeting of Governmental Experts held at UNESCO from 29 June to 2 July 1998, as well as comments made by States at earlier stages of this drafting procedure. Furthermore, it looks at the history of the drafting of the ILA Draft Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (1994) (hereafter cited as “ILA Draft”),’ which constitutes the basis of the UNESCO/DOALOS Draft and may, therefore, provide useful information about the origin of its provisions. At the outset, general issues relating to the protection of underwater cultural heritage are being discussed, while a review of existing international and regional instruments protecting the cultural heritage is included in an Appendix.