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Decision : 32 COM 9
Discussion on Outstanding Universal Value

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-08/32.COM/9

2. Recalling Decision 31 COM 9 adopted at its 31st session (Christchurch, 2007), which requested ICOMOS and IUCN to harmonize their reports and finalize the first compendium on Outstanding Universal Value and the inscription of proposed properties by criteria on the World Heritage List,

3. Recognizing that Outstanding Universal Value reflects values and traditions from around the world, representing natural and cultural diversity, takes note of the discussion at the 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee (Quebec City, 2008);

4. Welcomes with appreciation the work of the Advisory Bodies in preparing so far the Compendium on standards for the inscription of natural and cultural properties on the World Heritage List;

5. Requests the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and IUCN to complete the first compendium for publication in the World Heritage Paper series, including:

a) an Executive Summary clearly presenting major conclusions from the report about the thresholds for Outstanding Universal Value relative to each of the criteria, and the potential implications for the World Heritage Committee of the conclusions arising from the report with recommendations;

b) a coordinated and integrated introduction;

c) a table that summarizes up to 3 landmark cases in the application of each criteria, explaining why the threshold for Outstanding Universal Value was or was not met and the implications of these cases;

d) in particular, guidance on comparative analysis; so as to increase its usefulness as a guide to States Parties in developing nominations;

6. Requests ICOMOS and IUCN, when appropriate, to collaborate in the evaluation of properties so as to produce single evaluation reports on cultural landscapes or mixed sites with cross referencing as required;

7. Also requests ICOMOS and IUCN, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, to finalize the second compendium, that shall cover Outstanding Universal Value with regard to debates about seeking to inscribe, or remove, properties from the List of World Heritage in Danger, for consideration by the Committee at its 33rd session in 2009;

8. Requests the World Heritage Centre to seek extra-budgetary resources to adequately finance the conclusion of the work in the above paragraphs;

9. Reinforces the rigorous, objective and consistent application of the three key tests to determine Outstanding Universal Value as set out in the Operational Guidelines:

a) the property must meet one or more of the 10 criteria (Paragraph 77);

b) the property must meet the conditions of integrity and/or authenticity (Paragraphs 79/95); and

c) the property must have an adequate protection and management system in place to ensure its safeguarding (Paragraph 78).

 Original Decision Document
Context of Decision
Themes: Working methods and tools, Operational Guidelines
Year: 2008
Decision Code: 32 COM 9