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Decision : CONF 008 XII.31-36
Situation of the World Heritage Fund and Budget for 1986

31. The Secretary introduced document SC-85/CONF.008/5 which included statements on mandatory and voluntary contributions to the World Heritage Fund. With regard to the mandatory contributions, he noted that many States Parties had responded to the appeals to pay their arrears before the General Assembly of States Parties held during the 23rd Unesco General Conference on 4 November 1985. With regard to voluntary contributions, he quoted the report of the Committee to the Unesco General Conference (23 C/86) recalling Article 16 paragraph 4 of the Convention which stipulates that these contributions "... shall be paid on a regular basis, at least every two years, and should not be less than the contributions which they should have paid if they had been bound by the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article" (i.e. mandatory contributions at present amounting to 1% of the annual contributions of States Parties to Unesco). This report had also indicated that certain States Parties had however paid voluntary contributions which were considerably less than the equivalent of 1%. In this connection therefore, it was gratifying to note that certain States Parties, which provide large voluntary contributions, had paid to the World Heritage Fund the full sum equivalent to their 1% contribution for 1984-85. The United States of America had on several occasions, such as at the 8th session of the Committee in 1984 and at the 5th General Assembly of States Parties on 4th November 1985, indicated that they would resume their voluntary payments. In this respect, the Secretariat noted that a bank draft for $238,903 had recently been received by Unesco from the U.S. Treasury and indicated that clarification had been requested to ascertain whether this sum was indeed a contribution to the World Heritage Fund.

32. The Committee took note of the financial statements contained in document SC-85/CONF.008/5. The Committee noted that as at 28 November 1985, a sum of $1,645,639 was available in the World Heritage Fund, to which the sum of $238,903 would be added if the above-mentioned contribution proved to be for the World Heritage Fund.

33. The Committee considered that it would be prudent to set aside part of this total amount during 1986 since a new financial biennium was beginning and experience had shown that States Parties tended to pay their contributions late in the financial period. Accordingly, the Committee decided to adopt a budget of 1.1 million dollars for 1986, which could be increased to 1.3 million in the event that the important voluntary contribution referred to above were to be received soon. The budget adopted by the Committee is set out below:


Budget approved for 1986

Amounts to be added to 1986 budget lines upon receipt of supplementary $200,000




Preparatory assistance and regional studies



Technical cooperation






Emergency assistance



Promotional activities and information



Advisory services









Temporary assistance to the Secretariat






3% Contingency funds







34. In addition, the World Heritage Committee felt that more active measures should be taken to ensure that contributions to the World Heritage Fund would be made by States Parties on a more regular basis than in the past in order to allow it to plan its activities more effectively. Accordingly, the Committee decided to ask the Director-General to write letters to all States Parties to the World Heritage Convention:

  • noting the resolution of the 23rd Session of the General Conference of Unesco, which calls upon Member States of Unesco to take the necessary steps to ensure that their contributions are paid in full at as early a date as possible during Unesco's financial period 1986-87; and
  • accordingly inviting States Parties to the Convention to pay their contributions to the World Heritage Fund at as early a date as possible in each calendar year;

35.   The Committee also decided to ask its Chairman to write letters as follows:

a) To the United States of America:

- expressing gratification at the announcement of its representative at the 5th General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria on 4 November 1985, that his Government intended to make a contribution to the World Heritage Fund in 1986;

- noting his statement that his country would be a candidate for election to the Committee at the next General Assembly;

- noting that in these circumstances the United States would make voluntary contributions in accordance with the terms of Article 16 of the Convention; and

- inviting the United States, in order that the Committee might be able to plan its operations effectively, to indicate on what dates and in what amounts the contributions would be received.

b) To other States Parties which, at the time of depositing their instruments of ratification, acceptance or accession, made declarations that they would not be bound by the provisions of Article 16.1, inviting them, unless they intend to contribute more than the equivalent of 1% of their contribution to the Regular Budget of the Organization, to study the possibility of withdrawing the said declarations as permitted by Article 16.3.

The representative of Brazil informed the Committee that Brazil dissociated itself from this decision and requested that, in addition to being noted in the report, Brazil's position be clearly stated in the letter from the Chairman which would be sent.

36. Finally, the Committee urged the Secretariat to do its utmost to encourage all Member States which are not States Parties to the Convention to adhere thereto as soon as possible.


 Original Decision Document
Context of Decision
Themes: Budget
Year: 1985
Decision Code: CONF 008 XII.31-36