Decision : CONF 002 VII.9-12
Management, Administration and Staffing of the World Heritage Centre
VII.9 The Committee discussed further the management and staffing of the World Heritage Centre after having taken note of the proposal prepared by the working group consisting of China, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Senegal, Thailand and the United States of America. Based on the conclusions of this working group, the Committee agreed on the importance of the World Heritage Centre as a unified body within the Secretariat of UNESCO. Furthermore, the Committee underlined that the determination of needs on staffing and funding levels can only be reached based on a clarification of the role and functions of the Centre. Having adopted the proposal of the Delegate of Colombia to delete the word "systematic" in the third point of item 1 (d), and to add "States Parties" in the same sentence so as to read: "coordination of monitoring of World Heritage sites carried out by the States Parties, the advisory bodies and other institutions, as requested by the Committee", the Chairperson declared the text of the working group adopted as amended by the proposal of Colombia.
VII. 10 The committee requested the chairperson to transmit to the Director-General of UNESCO the proposal as it now reads:
"Based on the conclusions of the working group, consisting of China, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Senegal, Thailand and the United States of America, the Committee agrees on the importance of the World Heritage Centre as a unified body within the Secretariat of UNESCO. The Committee believes that the determination of needs on staffing and funding levels can only be reached based on a clarification of the role and functions of the Centre.
1. The Committee believes the role and functions of the Centre are as follows.
The Centre should:
(a) fulfill the function of Secretariat to the organs of the 1972 Convention;
(b) act as a clearing house for the purpose of coordination and information-sharing between the Committee and other conventions, programmes and international organizations related to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, as requested by the Committee;
(c) oversee the implementation of training, monitoring, and technical assistance by the States Parties, the intergovernmental body ICCROM, ICOMOS, IUCN and other NGOs, and cooperate with other units of UNESCO and its Field Offices, as requested by the Committee;
(d) be the primary instrument for facilitating the implementation of the decisions of the committee and in this regard should be the primary contact with the States Parties on all technical aspects of the Convention, including:
(i) coordination of the inscription process;
(ii) assistance to and coordination of requests by States Parties for training and technical assistance, including evaluation of the results;
(iii) coordination of monitoring of the World Heritage sites carried out by the States Parties, the advisory bodies and other institutions, as requested by the Committee;
(iv) organization of regular meetings and other meetings as requested by the Committee;
(v) preparation of reports as directed by the Committee;
(vi) development of draft proposals for technical guidelines to improve the effectiveness of the Convention as requested by the Committee;
(vii) preparation of the budget for the Committee's approval;
(viii) disbursement of funds in a timely manner.
(e) implement plans and seek partnerships to increase materials promoting the Convention, as directed by the Committee and in accordance with the goals and policies of UNESCO.
2. Therefore, the Committee expresses its strong concern that every effort be made to secure funding and staff necessary to perform adequately the above tasks. The Committee requests the Director-General to take this concern into consideration for further action."
VII.11 The Representative of the Director-General of UNESCO, thereupon made a statement emphasizing that with respect to the document presented by the working group, it had to be clearly stated that the Director-General of UNESCO is bound to abide strictly to the provisions of the 1972 Convention. Article 14, para. 1, of the convention provides that "a Secretariat appointed by the Director- General of UNESCO" shall assist the Committee and that UNESCO will continue to do so. The Convention also provides in para. 2 of Article 14 that "the Director-General of UNESCO utilizing to the fullest extent possible the services of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and the Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the World Conservation Union (IUCN), in their respective areas of competence and capability, shall prepare the Committee's documentation and the agenda of its meetings and shall have the responsibility for the implementation of its decisions". Accordingly, he pointed out, the UNESCO Secretariat - of which the World Heritage Centre is a part - will work closely, as it had done in the past, with the intergovernmental organization ICCROM, the NGOs, such as IUCN, ICOMOS and others, in the implementation of the decisions of the Committee. In this regard, UNESCO is bound also to respect the directives issued and the decisions taken by the General Conference of UNESCO. Concluding his statement, Mr Bouchenaki underlined that the Director-General and the Secretariat of UNESCO, both at Headquarters and in the field, will make every effort - as they have done for World Heritage sites in the past - to harmonize contributions from various partners such as the UNDP, FIT, voluntary contributions, associate experts, and bilateral inputs.
VII.12 Upon the proposal of the Delegate of Japan, the above statement of the Representative of the Director-General of UNESCO was to be included in the Final Report of the session.