XXIII.1 The Rapporteur thanked the Chairperson for the harmonious work in chairing the session and expressed his gratitude to the Finnish authorities, the delegates and observers for their contributions to the session and the report. He underlined that in the spirit of solidarity, progress had been made at this Committee meeting with regard to a number of items under discussion for a long time.
XXIII.2 On behalf of the Committee members and participants, the Delegate of Egypt thanked the Chairperson for his effective and wise chairmanship. He expressed his gratitude to the Director of the Centre and his team for serving the Committee in an admirable way and stated that he will be looking forward to the next Committee session in Budapest, Hungary.
XXIII.3 In supporting this intervention, the Delegate of India commended the Chairperson on his excellent and fair management of the Committee session. She highlighted the fact that the next session will be an anniversary event and that the way has been paved for the revised Operational Guidelines, the review of the categories and a number of other issues defining the way ahead. She also thanked the Centre and its Director for their excellent work.
XXIII.4 The Delegates of Santa Lucia and Argentina also expressed their gratitude to the Chairperson, the Rapporteur, the Centre, the interpreters and translators and the Finnish Secretariat for the work achieved.
XXIII.5 The Delegate of Nigeria, attending his first Committee session and speaking on behalf of the African region, also expressed his gratitude to the Chairperson and all participants.
XXIII.6 The Delegate of the United Kingdom thanked the Chairperson on behalf of the European region for managing the session in a timely fashion as well as all those involved in its smooth running.
XXIII.7 The Director of the World Heritage Centre, Mr Francesco Bandarin, on behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO, expressed his gratitude to the Finnish authorities. With reference to the conclusions reached by the Committee on the establishment of an Indigenous Council of Experts, he stated that UNESCO will continue to support the initiatives relating to the promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples in the framework of the United Nations International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (1995-2004). He sincerely thanked the Committee for its work and engagement and expressed the firm commitment of the Secretariat to serve the Committee in the best way possible to improve communication among all World Heritage partners, including the Advisory Bodies.
XXIII.8 The Chairperson thanked the Committee for the encouraging words and articulated his wish to continue the new working methods, which have been developed since the sessions in Marrakesh (1999) and Cairns (2000). He thanked all delegates, observers, the advisory bodies and the Secretariat for their constructive and active participation in the Committee's work and the Finnish authorities for having organized and provided the facilities for this session.
XXIII.9 The Chairperson then declared the twenty-fifth session of the World Heritage Committee closed.