World Heritage Centre World Heritage Centre - Committee Decisions 90 en Copyright 2019 UNESCO, World Heritage Centre Tue, 16 Jul 2019 14:44:42 EST UNESCO, World Heritage Centre - Decisions 1 COM VI.A(a).17 Establishment of the World Heritage List - General debate It was the opinion of several members that the Committee should issue a statement on the whole philosophy underlying the Convention and, in particular, the need for a World Heritage List. Others felt that the discussion on the criteria for inclusion of properties in the List would necessarily raise the philosophical concepts involved.

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1 COM VI.A(a).18 Establishment of the World Heritage List Several members felt strongly that the World Heritage List should be exclusive and that, because of its impact, the List - in which balance would be sought geographically and between cultural and natural properties - should be drawn up with extreme care. Responsibility for ensuring the exclusive character of the List would rest first of all, with the States nominating properties and secondly, with the Committee which would have the right to reject nominations; the adoption of criteria which would be used by the Committee to filter nominations therefore constituted a very important first step.

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1 COM VI.A(a).19 Establishment of the World Heritage List The feasibility of adopting criteria gave rise to some discussion, with member's referring to the difficulty already experienced in establishing criteria at the national level, to the changing and subjective nature of evaluations of qualities, to the impact of Western thought and to the difference between perception from within a given culture and perception from outside. The representative of ICOMOS, in reply, recognized the difficulty of drafting criteria to be applied to cultural property throughout the world and of translating concepts into words that were meaningful on a universal scale; an attempt had been made but he realized that, in the light of experience as nominations were examined, the criteria would probably require some adjustment.

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1 COM VI.A(a).20 Establishment of the World Heritage List Hope was expressed that sufficient information would be provided to States to enable them to select properties that were truly eligible for inclusion in the List and that the criteria adopted would assist States in restricting their choice of properties nominated. In this connection, one proposal put forward sought to impose on States a limit in the number of properties that they might submit in the first instance but, on reflection this was not considered advisable. It was, however, decided that States would be advised to limit the number of nominations submitted at a given time, on the understanding that these nominations were not to be considered exhaustive.

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4 COM VII.21 Consideration of item 8 of the agenda: Measures to be taken to improve the balance between the cultural and the natural heritage in the implementation of the Convention 21. The Committee heard the report of the working group set up to examine measures to improve the balance between the cultural and the natural heritage in the implementation of the Convention and agreed with the recommendations set out below:

1) Preparatory assistance to States Parties should be granted on a priority basis for:

(i) the establishment of tentative lists of cultural and natural properties situated in their territories and suitable for inclusion in the World Heritage List;

(ii) the preparation of nominations of types of properties underrepresented in the World Heritage List.

2) States Parties to the Convention should provide the Secretariat with the name and address of the governmental organization(s) primarily responsible for cultural and natural properties so that copies of all official correspondence and documents can be sent by the Secretariat to these focal points as appropriate. All States Parties to the Convention as of 5 September 1980 are asked to provide this information to the Secretariat by 31st December 1980. New States Parties are requested to do so as soon as possible after the deposit of their instrument of ratification acceptance or accession.

3) States Parties to the Convention should convene at regular intervals at the national level a joint meeting of those persons responsible for natural and cultural heritage in order that they may discuss matters pertaining to the implementation of the Convention. This does not apply to States Parties where one single organization is dealing with both cultural and natural heritage.

4) The Committee, deeply concerned with maintaining a balance in the number of experts from the natural and cultural fields represented on the Bureau urges that every effort be made in future elections in order to ensure that :

(i) the chair is not held by persons with expertise in the same field, either cultural or natural, for more than two succeeding years ;

(ii) at least two "cultural" and at least two "natural" experts are present at Bureau meetings to ensure balance and credibility in reviewing nominations to the World Heritage List.

5) States Parties to the Convention should choose as their representatives persons qualified in the field of natural and cultural heritage thus complying with Article 9, paragraph 3 of the Convention.

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6 EXT.COM 4 Policy and legal issues concerning inscription of properties on the List of Lorld Leritage in Danger and the potential deletion of properties from the World Heritage List The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Decides to maintain in the revised Operational Guidelines existing text from the July 2002 Operational Guidelines concerning:
    1. reactive monitoring (paragraph 68),
    2. the development of a programme of corrective measures (paragraphs 22, 46b, 86, 87 and 89),
    3. inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger (paragraphs 80-93) and,
    4. possible deletion from the World Heritage List (paragraphs 46-56).
  2. Requests the World Heritage Centre to re-order the text in the revised Operational Guidelines to ensure a logical and consistent presentation of the procedures for management and monitoring, reactive monitoring of the state of conservation of World Heritage properties, inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger and deletion from the World Heritage List.
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7 EXT.COM 4B Working methods of the World Heritage Committee Mon, 06 Dec 2004 00:00:00 EST 7 EXT.COM 4B Working methods of the World Heritage Committee Mon, 06 Dec 2004 00:00:00 EST 7 EXT.COM 10 Mon, 06 Dec 2004 00:00:00 EST 9 COM VII.14-18 Analysis of Trends in Nominations 14. Introducing agenda item 6, the Secretariat recalled the Bureau's proposals as contained in the report of the ninth session. It was pointed out that, in addition to the question of the growing number of nominations, the real problem raised by development of the Convention was that of monitoring the status of conservation of properties included on the List.

15. In regard to the Bureau's proposed measures to reduce the number of nominations to be processed each year, the Committee was of the view that it was preferable not to lay down strict rules but rather to appeal to States that already had a large number of properties on the List to restrict their nominations voluntarily. At the same time, the Committee recalled that ICOMOS could evaluate nominations only from States Parties which had submitted tentative lists.

16. On the subject of monitoring the status of conservation of properties on the List, the Committee requested IUCN to report on its system of monitoring the status, not only of natural World Heritage properties, but also of endangered species and natural habitats. The IUCN system is based at the Conservation Monitoring Centre at Cambridge (United Kingdom) and has close links with the Global Environmental Monitoring System of the United Nations Environment Programme. IUCN is assisted by 4000 voluntary correspondents located in 126 countries who report regularly to the Conservation Monitoring Centre. Thus, IUCN is in a position to obtain reliable and up-to-date information on almost all natural World Heritage properties. This year IUCN would be reporting on 12 of the 56 natural World Heritage sites, a task which was assuming larger proportions than that of evaluating new proposals. In general, between 8 and 13 new nominations were examined each year, a number which IUCN considered reasonable. The representative of IUCN underlined the importance of regularly monitoring the quality of World Heritage properties and suggested that the Committee might follow-up the proposals for monitoring made to the Committee at its seventh session in Florence (Italy) in 1983.

17. The Committee acknowledged that a solution should be found to enable the Committee to be kept regularly informed of the status of conservation of cultural as well as natural properties. Such information should be collated at regular intervals, yet to be determined, and could be collected by expert missions, through questionnaires sent out to States, or with the help of ICOMOS national committees. This could only be done, however, if ICOMOS were provided with the necessary funds. In addition, the Secretariat informed the Committee of the forthcoming Unesco publication of a "Manual for the Management of World Cultural Heritage Sites" aimed at the persons responsible for the preservation of these sites.

18. The Committee considered that it was premature to adopt a monitoring system for cultural properties and that possible solutions and their financial implications should first be studied in depth. It recommended that ICOMOS and ICCROM should take the procedures adopted by IUCN for monitoring the status of natural properties as a guide, and make proposals to the Bureau at its tenth session.


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11 COM XII.31-36 Number of Nominations 31. Given the high number of nominations and the problems that this situation might cause for their evaluation and the smooth running of the work of the Committee, the Bureau had wished that the Committee examine whether it was suitable - and in which manner - to eventually envisage a limitation to the number of nominations in the future. The Committee also expressed its concern that the examination of nominations had taken up most of the time available at the expense of the other items on the agenda, particularly financial matters.

32. Several members of the Committee considered that it was desirable to keep the World Heritage List, established under the increasingly popular World Heritage Convention, open to as many nominations as possible while ensuring quality control and adherence to the operational guidelines. One view was expressed that it should be possible to improve the working methods and procedures of the Committee, particularly for examining nominations more rapidly and effectively, by providing information on the categories of nominations already received and the States Parties concerned.

33. The Committee reviewed the means that could be envisaged for limiting the number of nominations in the future in as fair as possible a manner: several ideas were put forward such as limiting the maximum of nominations to be examined each year to say 25 or 30 giving priority to previously deferred nominations; the strict application of criteria; the review and updating of tentative lists particularly for cultural sites; the possibility of classifying nominations by types giving preference to nominations of sites corresponding to themes which were under or not represented on the World Heritage List; calling on States Parties to voluntarily limit the number of nominations submitted each year, etc.

34. A member of the Committee suggested that although the Convention did not oblige the States Parties to draw up lists of properties of national or regional importance, such lists could possibly be brought to the attention of the Committee for its information.

35. The Committee recognised that the question of the number and type of nominations was a complex issue which had already been raised at its previous sessions and which would need to be studied in some depth. The Committee decided to establish a working group, and the Chairman set out its terms of reference as follows: to review all the sites already inscribed on the World Heritage List; to review the tentative lists already received; to review ways and means of ensuring a rigorous application of the criteria established by the Committee; to review ways and means of better managing the agenda of the Committee sessions. The proposals of the working group on the above questions will be submitted to the Bureau at its next session.

36. The following States Parties indicated that they wished to participate in the working group, under the chairmanship of Sri Lanka: Australia, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Mexico, Tunisia. The working group would remain open to other members of the Committee who wished also to take part.


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11 COM XV.42-43 Representation on the World Heritage Committee 42. The representative of Algeria noted that the present composition of the World Heritage Committee was somewhat imbalanced in terms of geographical representation, with a particular lack of representation of African States Parties. This meant that there was a resulting imbalance in the representation of cultural regions. The Algerian representative suggested that the Bureau and the Committee should re-examine the voting procedure for the General Assembly of States Parties.

43. The Committee agreed that there was a need to ensure an equitable representation of the different regions and cultures of the world, as is stated in Article 8, paragraph 1 of the Convention. It requested the Secretariat to present the Bureau and the Committee with proposals which would respond to this need and which could eventually be adopted by the 7th General Assembly of States Parties in 1989.


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12 COM VII.12-19 Report of the Working Group Established by the Committee at its Eleventh Session 12. The Chairman of the Working Group, H.E. Ananda Guruge (Sri Lanka) presented the recommendations drafted by the Working Group. He stressed how important it was that the work of the Committee be facilitated through careful preparation and submittance of nominations of cultural properties by States Members, a more active Secretariat contribution when checking files, and a selective presentation of proposals by ICOMOS and by the Bureau. He also noted the progress that could be achieved through a reorganization of the Committee's agenda. The Chairman of the Working Group clarified that these recommendations had, in part, guided the revision of the Operational Guidelines.

Furthermore, he presented the Group's recommendation concerning a global study which might include an international tentative list of references designed to assist the States Parties in identifying their properties and the Committee in evaluating nominations. Finally, the attention of the Committee was drawn to the recommendation of complementary studies of rural landscapes, traditional villages and contemporary architecture.

13. Several members made a point of congratulating the Working Group on the results achieved. The Committee approved the Working Group's recommendations. However, several questions arose with respect to items 4.7 and 4.8 of the Working Group's report (study and global reference list, thematic studies of several categories of properties). The Chairman of the Committee recalled that the Bureau had requested ICOMOS to state its views on these points and invited the representative of this organisation to comment.

14. The proposal presented by the representative of ICOMOS would define the principles of a retrospective and prospective global reflection on the Convention. Within the framework of such a reflection ICOMOS would like to satisfy the wish of the Working Group with a view to establishing lists of examples of cultural properties of countries throughout the world, whether or not they were Parties to the Convention. Research to this effect would allow the identification of entities according to different parameters of coherence - chronological, geographical, ecological, functional, social, religious, etc.

15. The representative of IUCN also stated his views on the global list. He reminded the Committee that in 1982 IUCN had already established a list of this type and referred to its current shortcomings. This list was to be revised in the near future and, in his opinion, was a highly useful working tool. On the other hand, he suggested that an a posteriori review of results achieved during the first twenty years of implementation of the Convention and a projection thereof over the coming twenty years be made in 1992 for cultural properties. Indeed, in 1992 IUCN would be organizing the Fourth World Parks Congress at which it was planned to hold a special session marking the twentieth year of the World Heritage Convention.

16. The repesentative of ICCROM shared the views expressed by the Working Group and ICOMOS as regards a global study. He stressed that cooperation between ICCROM and ICOMOS would be most useful, since this concerned matters of mutual interest. He further stressed the need to conceive an evolutive list which, in particular, should take into account recent progress in the field of conservation doctrines.

17. A member of the Committee raised the question of the budgetary implications of preparing a global list. Another member suggested that it would be possible to call upon ICOMOS experts and the historical monuments services of each country

18. As regards tentative lists, several Committee members noted that these were highly useful instruments and a significant basis for the global survey. A member stressed that tentative lists were of great importance in the context of natural properties as well, since they allowed comparative studies. On the subject of specific studies of rural landscapes, traditional villages and contemporary architecture, a member stated that no deadlines had been set and that it would be proper to define their general outline. The representative of ICOMOS suggested that such studies might be integrated into the global study. Two Committee members voiced their doubts as to the need for a global study and specific surveys. It was therefore suggested that an informal group co-ordinated by the Chairman of the Working Group (Mr. A. Guruge) further examine this matter.

19. This Working Group met twice. Besides already existing documentation, it considered a short reflection note prepared by Mr. J.S. Collinson. Discussions highlighted the need to define a framework and principles prior to any further study, whether for the "global" study or thematic surveys of traditional villages, rural landscapes and contemporary architecture. The Working Group requested that the Secretariat and ICOMOS examine these questions in depth over the coming months and submit a more elaborate proposal to the Bureau in June 1989. Meanwhile, it proposed to include in the 1989 budget an amount of US$20,000 for the purpose of the global study and the thematic studies. The release of these funds would be considered by the Bureau. The Committee agreed to this proposal.


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12 COM XVI.73 Other Business: Concerns About the Situation of Architectural Heritage, Both Urban and Rural, in Romania 73. The Secretary-General of ICOMOS read out a telex message from Professor Roberto di Stefano, President of ICOMOS, expressing the grave concern of his Organization about "the situation of architectural heritage, both urban and rural, in Romania". After describing the measures taken by ICOMOS, the message stated that this organization was ready to help the Committee in any way possible. The Committee noted that Romania was not a State Party to the Convention and that when the matter had been raised in the recent 130th session of Unesco's Executive Board, the Director-General had informed that body of the measures he was taking to obtain clarifications form the Romanian authorities on the effects on the architectural heritage of its "rural systematisation" policies. The Committee endorsed the concern expressed by ICOMOS and expressed the wish that this concern be communicated to the Romanian authorities. An observer from a States Party suggested that in the "global study" it would be carrying out ICOMOS could give priority attention to Romanian properties of World Heritage significance.


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12 GA 30-48 Ways and means to ensure a more representative World Heritage List 30. Before introducing this point, the President referred to the notes sent to UNESCO delegations by France and Italy and wished to give the floor to the heads of the delegations of these countries so they could present their position. The Delegate of Lebanon, referring to Article 11 of the Rules of Procedure, raised a point of procedure relating to Resolutions and Amendments. The President then tabled working document WHC-99/CONF.206/5.

31. He recalled that at its twenty-second session, the World Heritage Committee inscribed this item on the provisional agenda of the twenty-third session of the Bureau. The document informs the General Assembly of the implications and development of the Global Strategy. It was examined and approved by the Bureau at its twenty-third session (Paris, 5-10 July 1999). He underlined its paramount importance because it addresses the issue of the Global Strategy.

32. He said that since the adoption of the World Heritage Convention in 1972, innumerable discussions have been conducted as to the means of ensuring the representative nature of the World Heritage List. He underlined that since 1979, disparities and imbalances have been pointed out. The predominance of western European monumental architecture in comparison to non-monumental architectural heritage of other regions has also been highlighted. The need to strengthen the protection of past and continuing interactions between humans and the environment has been stressed.

33. He referred to the June 1994 expert meeting organised by the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS which established a methodology to remedy such disparities. The expert group defined a “Global Strategy”, a thematic methodology to redress the geographical, temporal, and spiritual imbalances of the List. The expert group also identified the following areas or themes whose investigation would help to improve the representativity of the List:

  • Human coexistence with the land (movement of peoples, settlements)
  • Human beings in society (human interactions, spirituality and creative expressions).

34. In December 1994, the Committee adopted the report of the expert group and it revised the criteria for inscription of cultural properties. The scope of the Global Strategy was extended from cultural heritage to include natural and mixed properties. He referred also to the category of cultural landscapes and recalled that the World Heritage Committee, aware of the changing definition of cultural heritage, had defined this category which is still under-represented on the World Heritage List.

35. He mentioned also that every year since 1995, the Committee has approved the organization by the World Heritage Centre of regional and thematic Global Strategy meetings and studies. A list of background documents concerning these Global Strategy meetings can be found in document WHC-99/CONF.206/INF.5. The advisory bodies (IUCN, ICOMOS) have contributed to the preparation of these meetings and publications.

36. He defined the objectives of the Global Strategy as follows “The Global Strategy is a framework and methodology for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. It relies on regional and thematic definitions of categories of heritage that have outstanding universal value. Its aim is to ensure a more balanced and representative World Heritage List. It encourages countries to become States Parties to the Convention, to prepare tentative lists and to harmonise them, and to prepare nominations of properties from categories and regions currently under-represented on the World Heritage List”.

37. He then gave the floor to the Director of the World Heritage Centre who presented the process set in motion at the twenty-second session of the Committee, under the Chairmanship of Japan to “move from recommendations to action”.

38. The Director of the Centre recalled that by letter of 22 September 1999, he had transmitted all the working documents to the States Parties, requesting them to send him written comments on the draft Resolution. He referred to the only letter received, that from the Czech Delegation, dated 26 October 1999, of which he had acknowledged receipt. He then presented the main points of the draft project, stressing the following considerations: 

  • It is in the interest of all States Parties and advisory bodies to preserve the authority of the 1972 Convention, by improving the representativity of the World Heritage List, which should reflect the diversity of all cultures and ecosystem of all regions.  
  • Since the adoption of the Global Strategy by the World Heritage Committee in December 1994, to improve the representativity of the list, this objective has not been attained, despite the efforts of the Secretariat and the States Parties concerned.
  • To address these continuing deficiencies, the Bureau in July 1999 prepared the Draft Resolution for consideration by the General Assembly of States Parties.

39. He recalled that the 1972 Convention is a framework for international co-operation, he reaffirmed the sovereignty of States Parties, and underlined the importance of moving from recommendations to action, as decided by the Committee at its twenty-second session. He highlighted the following paragraphs of the Draft Resolution which had been prepared by a working group at the Bureau composed of the following members of the Bureau: Benin, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Republic of Korea; the following members of the Committee: Canada, Finland, France, Zimbabwe; the following observers: Belgium, United Kingdom and the Secretary- General of ICOMOS.

A. The General Assembly invites all States Parties to:

  • Integrate the protection of cultural and natural heritage into comprehensive planning programmes (Art.5 of the Convention)
  • Prepare or re-examine tentative lists by focusing on under-represented heritage
  • Prioritise categories highlighting interaction between humans and their environment, and humans in society
B. Invites States Parties with a substantial representation of sites on the World Heritage List to,

 On a voluntary basis,

  • Space voluntarily their future nominations; and/or
  • Propose only properties in the under-represented categories; and/or
  • Link their nominations with those of another State Party with under-represented heritage; or
  • Decide to suspend the presentation of new nominations; and
  • Inform the Committee of their choices.

C. Invites States Parties with under-represented heritage to:

  •  Prioritise nominations and tentative lists
  • Initiate regional partnerships based on the exchange of technical expertise
  • Encourage bilateral and multilateral co-operation to increase their expertise
  • Maximise their participation in World Heritage meetings

D. Invites the Advisory bodies to:

  •  Pursue programmes of thematic studies and classification of themes
  • Observe the greatest scientific rigor while evaluating nominations
  • Develop mechanisms to deliver training to experts in under-represented regions to prepare and evaluate nominations

E. Invites the World Heritage Committee to:

  • Continue its actions within the Global Strategy framework
  • Provide necessary resources from the World Heritage Fund to support the efforts of States Parties whose heritage is under-represented
  • Adopt regional and multi-year action plans to implement the Global Strategy
  • Evaluate, with all States Parties, progress in the Implementation of the Global Strategy
F. Invites the Secretariat of the Convention to:
  • Support States Parties with under-represented heritage in the preparation of tentative lists and nominations
  • Ensure that sufficient human resources are allocated for the implementation of the regional Action Plans

G. Invites the international community and the donor agencies to:

  • Support the protection of natural and cultural heritage and the 1972 Convention
  • Prioritise actions directed to the implementation of the Global Strategy in States Parties with under-represented heritage

40. Thirty-eight (38) States participated in the debate. All the speakers expressed satisfaction with the text adopted by the Bureau at its twenty-third session. They thanked the Chairperson of the Committee, the Chairperson of the working group and the States Parties. They stressed the pertinence of the draft resolution, its structure that identifies the responsibilities of each of the partners involved in the implementation of the Global Strategy, and the choice of the measures proposed which aim to improve the representativity of the World Heritage List.

41. Moreover many countries, following France which had been the first speaker in the debate, declared that the principles set out in the draft resolution, when adopted, can only take effect if they are supported by the political will of the States. Indeed, the draft resolution requests the States that already have a substantial number of sites inscribed to limit the rate of new nominations, to make a concentrated effort to help strengthen the co-operative mechanisms and international solidarity, and to assist countries without sufficient capacity to prepare their nomination files and ensure the management of their properties.

42. France’s opinion that a strategy must be developed with three main components: (i) definition of the objectives, (ii) establishment of action plans with timetables, and (iii) an evaluation procedure, found an echo amongst the speakers who affirmed the need to move from recommendations to action.

43. Although Austria and France were the only States to declare, for the former, that it had limited the rate of nomination proposals to one site per year, and for the latter, that it had decided to abstain from presenting new sites in 2000, many States whose heritage is still under-represented stressed the importance of international co-operation and, referring to activities for which they had received assistance from States with substantial conservation capacities, they thanked the donor countries.

44. During the debate, certain States put forward the principle of rotation within the Committee and congratulated France for having withdrawn its candidacy. The large majority of the speakers stressed the discrepancy between the number of States Parties (157) and the number of Committee members (21). Some speakers referred to Article 8.2 of the Convention “Election of members of the Committee shall ensure an equitable representation of the different regions and cultures of the world”, and requested an equitable representation within the Committee. Certain speakers evoked the possibility of reducing the length of the mandate of the Committee members.

45. At the end of the debate a draft resolution was adopted by consensus and without modification (the full text is contained in Annex II).

46. The President felt that a possible increase in the number of States members of the Committee, fixed at twenty-one, according to Article 8 of the Convention could make it necessary to revise this important legal instrument. He therefore invited the Legal Advisor to explain the procedure for modifying the Convention

47. Taking the floor, the Legal Advisor referred to Article 37 of the Convention which states that :

“1. This Convention may be revised by the General Conference of the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Any such revision shall, however, bind only the States that shall become Parties to the revising convention.
 2. If the General Conference should adopt a new convention revising this Convention in whole or in part, then, unless the new convention otherwise provides, this Convention shall cease to be open to ratification, acceptance or accession, as from the date on which the new revising convention enters into force.”

48. Taking account of the clarifications of the Legal Advisor and the debate on an equitable representation within the Committee, the President presented the following draft resolution that the General Assembly adopted by consensus:

"The General Assembly of States Parties:
Underlining the importance of an equitable representation of the World Heritage Committee and the need to increase the number of its members,

Taking into consideration the intervention of the Chairperson of the World Heritage Committee on this subject,
Requests the World Heritage Committee:

a) to set up a working group to study this question and to submit proposals to the thirteenth General Assembly of States Parties,
to request the inscription of an item on the agenda of the thirty-first General Conference concerning this issue.”
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13 COM VII Equitable Representation of Different Regions and Cultures of the World 11. While examining agenda item 4, the Committee took note of the conclusions of the 7th General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention on this question. The Committee welcomed the content of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly which reflected its wish to ensure both a better turnover of Committee members and equitable representation of the different regions and cultures of the world.

12. In accordance with the conclusions of the Bureau at its 13th session and taking account of the above-mentioned resolution, the Committee decided to allocate under the 1990 budget a sum of $20,000 to cover the costs of the participation at the Bureau and Committee sessions of specialists in cultural and natural heritage conservation representing the States Members of the Committee which appear on the United Nations List of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). For 1990, this measure would apply to two States Members of the Committee: the United Republic of Tanzania and Yemen Arab Republic.

13. In the discussions on this question, the Committee stressed the fact that such an allocation should be given exclusively for national experts or managers of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List.

14. Having being mandated by the Committee, the Bureau considered that it would be difficult to apply rigid mechanisms for the election of Committee members so as to ensure an appropriate balance between an equitable representation of the geographical regions and of the cultural areas. The Bureau, in addition, requested the Secretariat to submit proposals for guidelines at its next session which the Committee could submit for consideration to the General Assembly for the next elections.


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13 COM XIV.42-43 Global Study and Thematic Studies 40. The Committee welcomed the proposals of ICOMOS and the Secretariat concerning the global study. In presenting his proposal, the representative of ICOMOS emphasized in particular the need to highlight the changes which had occurred in the world and in approaches to culture in the last twenty years. New tendencies were appearing, especially as concerns the relationships of man to his environment, and new themes were emerging such as anthropised landscapes or vernacular architecture. It was noted that the proposals made by the Secretariat should also be taken into account in elaborating the outline for the global study. The Committee approved the draft study as presented and asked the Secretariat to coordinate the work in close collaboration with ICOMOS and ICCROM. The results of the first phase consisting of the elaboration of a thematic framework should be presented to the Bureau at its 14th session for advice on follow up measures.

41. The question of thematic studies was again raised, several delegates having pointed out the interdependence of these studies and the global study. The work undertaken through these two initiatives could be mutually reinforcing and could lead to the presentation of an overall policy for implementing the World Heritage Convention at the special session of the Committee which will commemorate the twentieth anniversary of its adoption. In particular, a study on mixed sites and rural landscapes should be undertaken as a priority, according to several delegates (Canada, France, Greece, Italy and Mexico) who offered to participate in a working group that might be created for this purpose. In this respect, the representative of Italy stressed that in countries of the Old World, natural properties have always been strongly modified by man and that it was necessary to take this human presence into account when considering the integrity of these properties.

42. The Committee took note with satisfaction of a delegate's offer to place an expert from the archeological service of his country at the disposal of the Secretariat to help the work of the global study.

43. The Committee took note of document SC-89/CONF.004/INF.4 describing the progress made in drawing up a global indicative list of geological and fossil sites which have the potential to meet natural World Heritage criteria (i) and (ii). The Committee was glad to learn that the Secretariat had contacted Unesco's International Geological Correlation Programme (IGCP) and the International Union for the Geological Sciences (IUGS) and had engaged a high level consultant who had drawn up a preliminary indicative list. This preliminary list was being circulated to more than 150 experts in the field of geology around the world and would be finalized by the IGCP and IUGS in co-operation with IUCN in February 1990. The Committee welcomed the co-operation of the geological scientists' community in this endeavour and noted that the global indicative list would be presented to the Bureau at its 14th session.


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14 COM XIV Global Study 50. The report of the Secretariat was presented and the voluntary work of the Bulgarian Delegate (study on the Mediaeval sites in the Balkans) and of the two experts seconded by the Greek Ministry of Culture for one month (three studies made available to the Committee). These three studies, on the Graeco-Hellenistic and correlated cultures, the Roman and correlated cultures and the Byzantine and correlated cultures were based on an examination of sites already listed, those on tentative lists and with the addition of sites proposed by the experts to fill gaps. In the case of Roman culture, a chart had been prepared which set out the nature of the sites, their period and their location. The full content of these three files and other material prepared by the Secretariat was described and was available for consultation by delegations. The Secretariat invited delegations to make known bibliographies which would be helpful in further development of the study.

51. The Committee congratulated the Greek and Bulgarian experts for their in-depth treatment of the areas in question and thanked them for their participation in the study, which was described as being of high quality and, indeed, of elegance.

52. Frameworks for national historic monuments had been developed in the U.S.A. and Canada and one of the delegates offered to make these frameworks and some account of their methodology available to the Secretariat. Another delegate commented on the importance of having a mixed temporal, cultural and thematic approach. It was suggested that the global study should include landscapes.

53. Another delegate, in expressing appreciation of the work done, said that her country would seek to contribute to the study in its future elaboration. The Secretariat explained that it intended to proceed by establishing the framework first with the assistance of experts and it was noted that an amount had been included in the budget from the various regions for this purpose. The possible contribution of expertise by States Parties was warmly welcomed and, where such contribution may not be possible, the Secretariat would in any case appreciate the names of appropriate experts whom the Secretariat could approach to work on the project.

54. Another delegate emphasized that it was not just a question of providing the framework but that it should be a carefully considered one. Due allowance should be made 'for the time and cost of such studies which should not be expected to be done in haste without adequate reflection: Furthermore, it is important that experts in the States Parties Provide information for the study since there is much available in languages which are not so easily accessible.

55. Another expert suggested reference to a specialist in the Institut de l'Afrique Noire and the Secretariat mentioned that there had already been discussion with Mr. Konare, President of ICOM, a historian and archaeologist, about the project.

56. The Committee thanked the Secretariat for the work done on the project.

57. The Committee also noted that the study of geological sites conducted jointly by the Unesco International Geological Correlation Programme and the International Union of Geological Sciences has resulted in a preliminary global tentative list of geological sites of outstanding universal value. This list was to be revised early in 1991 by a team of experts meeting at Unesco headquarters. The results of the study would then be finalized and made available for the next session of the World Heritage Committee.


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14 COM XV Other Business Equitable representation of different regions and cultures of the world

58. The Committee considered the document on Equitable Representation (CC-90/CONF.004/INF.4). The Secretariat noted that it had followed this question closely over years and that it was difficult to make any more suggestions since ultimately this was a decision for the Committee. 

59. In respect of paragraph 5(iii), the Secretariat emphasized that it could be difficult for States to indicate at the time of their candidature the names of experts who would represent them for the duration of their term of office. Recognizing this problem and the need for the system to remain flexible, the Committee decided to submit to the General Assembly the proposals contained in paragraph 5 with the exception of that relating to the names of experts.

Information on Berinq Region

60. The representative of the United States of America called the attention of the Committee to the establishment by the Governments of the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of a Working Group on Heritage Conservation and Management. The Working Group had completed a joint report on the significant shared natural and cultural heritage of the Bering Region, copies of which were provided to the Committee.

61. The Report was endorsed by the Presidents of the USA and the USSR in June 1990 with a statement calling for continued co-operation towards a US-Soviet International Park.

62. Recalling the IUCN General Assembly Resolutions of 1988 and 1990, encouraging both governments to also consider a joint World Heritage nomination of the area, the representative of the USA and the observer from the USSR confirmed their governments continued interest in a possible joint nomination.

63. The Committee commended both governments for this initiative.

Other matters

64. The Committee instructed the Secretariat to prepare its report to the General Conference. This report will be submitted to the Bureau, which is authorized to approve it, at its fifteenth session.

65. The Bureau held a special session during the Committee meeting and met four times to examine nominations which had been referred back to the nominating State for additional information, to examine requests for technical assistance and the budget for 1991.

66. The Secretariat drew the Committee's attention to a decision made

at the Committee's thirteenth session, to the effect that "States Parties that are behind in their payments for the biennium considered would not be able to obtain international assistance financed by the Fund, except in unusual circumstances or emergencies." The Committee had asked the Secretariat to amend the Operational Guidelines accordingly. The Secretariat explained to the Committee that it had intentionally not done so, since experience during 1990 had shown that the Committee's decision as it had been worded was too ambiguous to allow clear interpretation and implementation. The Committee admitted that this problem must be resolved as soon as possible, with the understanding that consistent measures must be implemented without penalizing sites endangered by emergencies. The Committee therefore asked the Secretariat to prepare a proposal in this regard, which the Bureau will use as a basis for discussion at its next session.

67. The Committee wished to confirm its 1989 decision to finance attendance at sessions of the Committee and the Bureau by experts from least developed countries (LDCs) who are members of the Committee. The Committee wished to specify that this decision should be very strictly applied and that assuming the costs could be justified only for attendance at sessions of natural and cultural conservation experts.

68. The representative of Canada informed the Committee of the problems that could be posed by the inclusion of an already listed site within a larger site. For instance, such was the case in Canada, with regard to the Burgess Shale site, whose scientific importance was universally recognized. Now part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks World Heritage site, it is no longer identified as the Burgess Shale site on the List. The Committee recalled that this has also arisen with respect to other properties, the value of which had nonetheless been enhanced by the change.


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14 GA 8 Global Strategy for a representative, balanced and credible World Heritage List The General Assembly,

  1. Welcomes the adoption by the 26th session of the World Heritage Committee of new Strategic Objectives that include the strengthening of the Credibility of the World Heritage List and the development of effective Capacity-building measures;
  2. Notes the progress report on the implementation of the Global Strategy for a credible, representative and balanced World Heritage List presented in documents WHC-03/14.GA/8 and WHC-03/27.COM/13;
  3. Also notes that the 28th session of the World Heritage Committee (Suzhou, China, June-July 2004) will evaluate the 1994 Global Strategy for a representative, balanced and credible World Heritage List;
  4. Recommends that additional financial resources be allocated to the World Heritage Centre for programmes to strengthen capacity in the States Parties and regions under-represented on the World Heritage List. In addition, an allocation of part of the carry-over of unobligated funds of the regular budget for 2002-2003 could be considered for this purpose by the Executive Board during one of its forthcoming sessions;
  5. Requests that the World Heritage Centre include in its evaluation of the Global Strategy to be submitted to the 28th session of the World Heritage Committee, draft proposals so as to enable the Committee to develop appropriate action plans.
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