8 February 2013 – The Ambassador of France to UNESCO, H. E. Mr Daniel Rondeau, has submitted today the instruments of the ratification of the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage to the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova. This ratification is an important step in the development of the Convention. It illustrates the growing support by large maritime powers for this instrument and for the protection of the submerged heritage.
France has a long standing tradition in the field of underwater archaeological research, being one of the pioneering countries to develop scientific methodology for the discipline of underwater archaeology. With its ratification, France strengthens the application and implementation of widely recognized legal and scientific standards in the protection of the underwater cultural heritage. France’s expertise in the field will mean an increased support for the development of scientific and ethical capacities to the other States Parties of the 2001 Convention. It will also serve to increase cooperation in the prevention of the destruction of submerged heritage by pillaging and commercial exploitation.