XVII.1 The Chairperson recalled that the Australian Government had invited the World Heritage Committee for the year 2000 during the twentieth, twenty-first and twenty-second sessions of the Committee, as indicated in the respective reports. He also referred to official letters of invitation by the authorities of Australia and of Hungary to the Director-General of UNESCO on this matter.
XVII.2 The Delegate of Hungary announced that his Government is withdrawing its invitation to the Committee for the year 2000 and supports the Australian invitation, and that the Hungarian authorities wish to invite the World Heritage Committee for the year 2002, taking into consideration the invitation from Finland in 2001. His full statement is included in Annex XI.
XVII.3 The Delegate of Australia warmly thanked the Hungarian authorities for their understanding, and he reiterated that it would be an honour for his country host the Committee in Australia in November/December 2000. His full statement is included in Annex XII.
XVII.4 The Chairperson emphasised the immense work of the Secretariat, and suggested that two days between the extraordinary session of the Bureau and the twenty-fourth session of the Committee would allow the Secretariat to conclude its work on the Bureau and the preparations for the Committee session.
XVII.5 The Committee decided that the twenty-fourth extraordinary session of the Bureau would be held in Cairns, Australia, from 23 to 24 November 2000, followed by the twenty-fourth session of the Committee, from 27 November to 2 December 2000.
XVII.6 The Delegate of Benin noted that the reports of the sessions could be much shorter and should just reflect decisions made by the Committee. The Rapporteur welcomed any suggestions to improve the quality of the reports. She noted that the actual reporting system was far from being perfect and indeed many improvements could be made in that respect. She recalled the ongoing process of improving the working methods of the Committee and its Bureau, which would bring modifications to the actual reporting system. This issue merits a thorough reflection and thus it could be referred to the task force chaired by the Delegate of Canada. The Delegate of Hungary, in highlighting his experience as Rapporteur, noted that the World Heritage Committee and Bureau reports are important documents, as they are the only ones that are available to the public. He stated that the Committee should be very careful and not introduce changes to the actual reporting system without having reflected upon it.
XVII.7 The Delegate of China informed the Committee that his Government wishes to host one of the sessions of the World Heritage Committee session, in 2003, taking into consideration the earlier invitations from Australia, Finland and Hungary. The Delegate of Benin wished that in the future there would be no misunderstandings concerning the invitations to host Committee meetings and that the Committee members would be reminded of the invitations at each of its sessions. The Chairperson thanked the Delegate of Benin for his remarks and noted that the order of invitation should be respected.