English Français
Help preserve sites now!

Committee Decisions

34 COM 12

Reflection on the Future of the World Heritage Convention

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Documents WHC-10/34.COM/12A, WHC-10/34.COM/12B and WHC-10/34.COM/14,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 10 adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008), Decision 33 COM 14A.2 adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009) and Resolution 17 GA 9 adopted at the 17th General Assembly of States Parties (UNESCO, 2009),

3. Notes that the World Heritage Convention is fast approaching a number of important milestones, including its 40th Anniversary in 2012, the potential inscription of the 1000th property to the World Heritage List, and near universal ratification and that it is therefore appropriate to reflect on the successes of the Convention and on how it can best evolve to meet emerging challenges;

4. Recognizes the ongoing open-ended and inclusive participation of States Parties, Advisory Bodies, UNESCO Category 2 Centres specializing in cultural and natural heritage and non-governmental organizations in promoting and implementing the World Heritage Convention, including in relation to the transparent process of reflection on the future directions of the Convention;

5. Also notes that documents relating to the process of reflection on the future of the World Heritage Convention continue to be available for States Parties and other interested organizations at http://whc.unesco.org/en/futureoftheconvention/ ;

6. Welcomes the progress made on the reflection on the Future of the Convention at the Committee's 34th session (Brasilia, 2010);

 

 I. Celebration of the 40th Anniversary

7. Takes note of the proposal to focus the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2012 on the theme of Heritage and Development (WHC-10/34.COM/12B); requests the World Heritage Centre to send a circular letter by 1 September 2010 including a paper on the proposed theme and invites World Heritage Committee members, States Parties and Advisory Bodies to make written submissions to the World Heritage Centre regarding a theme for the Anniversary year celebrations outlined further in the above-mentioned paper by 1 November 2010;

8. Encourages States Parties to develop, support and carry out activities to promote the Anniversary, including at the site level and involving youth and also invites the World Heritage Centre to identify complementary extra-budgetary funding sources to help implement the programme of activities (WHC-10/34.COM/12B);

9. Also welcomes the willingness of the Government of Japan to host the final closing event of the Anniversary year on 16 November 2012 in Japan;

10. Further welcomes the initiative to recognize and promote best practices in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and further invites the Director-General of UNESCO to carry out a feasibility study of possible measures to recognize best practices in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention and forward the results, if appropriate, for the consideration of the Executive Board at its session in April 2011 and thereafter the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

11. Also requests the World Heritage Centre to report, within the Report on the reflection on the Future of the Convention, on the progress made towards the organization of the 40th Anniversary celebrations at the 35th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2011;

12. Expresses its appreciation to the States Parties of Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, China, Israel, Japan, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Thailand for the financial and technical support to the various international expert meetings held in 2009 and 2010 which have contributed to the reflection on the future of the Convention.

 

II. Strategic Action Plan and Vision for the Convention

13. Recalling Decision 33 COM 14A.2 by which the Committee decided it would be useful to develop an overall strategic action plan to guide the implementation of the World Heritage Convention over the next decade and Resolution 17 GA 9 of the 17th General Assembly of the Convention which called for further work on the development of this plan based on the Strategic Objectives with prioritized actions and effective implementation;

14. Further notes in particular the positive progress made in developing an overall framework for a Strategic Action Plan to guide the implementation of the World Heritage Convention over the decade 2012-2022, the need to continue to reflect on the overall framework as well as the activities to be described within the Strategic Action Plan, and the profound issues that have been raised (Attachment A);

15. Notes furthermore that work on a draft Vision should continue, building upon the issues raised, the emerging overall framework for, and the particular activities that would be eventually contained within, the Strategic Action Plan;

16. Invites furthermore States Parties, Advisory Bodies, UNESCO Category 2 Centres specializing in cultural and natural heritage, and non-governmental organizations to make written submissions on the overall framework and particular activities that could be contained within the Strategic Action Plan, as well as the draft Vision (Attachment B), by 1 November 2010;

17. Also takes note of the UNESCO Category 2 Centres specializing in cultural and natural heritage, recognizing their relevance in promoting and implementing the World Heritage Convention; and encourages coordinated cooperation among the Centres, the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;

18. Decides to further discuss the draft Strategic Action Plan, draft Vision and preparations for the 40th Anniversary in 2012 at the 35th session of the Committee in 2011 and also decides that a draft of the Strategic Action Plan and Vision should be elaborated at the 35th session of the Committee for transmission to the 18th session of General Assembly in 2011 for its consideration;

 

 III. Improvements to the processes and practices prior to consideration by the World Heritage Committee of a nomination (the 'upstream processes')

19. Welcomes furthermore the report of the expert meeting on "Upstream processes to nominations: creative approaches in the nomination process" (Phuket, Thailand, 27-29 April 2010) which identifies options to refine and augment the provision of support, advice and feedback to States Parties throughout the nomination process and encourages the World Heritage Centre to follow up on the approaches and recommendations of the Phuket expert meeting (Attachment C);

20. Further requests the World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the Advisory Bodies and other relevant organizations, to invite one or two States Parties from each of the UNESCO regional groups to undertake, on an experimental basis, voluntary pilot projects related to identifying options and preparing dossiers for nomination with particular reference to Paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of Attachment C; requests furthermore the World Heritage Centre to ensure that the pilot projects be representative of current challenges in the nomination process and to report on progress at the 36th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2012; requests moreover the World Heritage Centre and Advisory Bodies, as part of this process, to conduct a feasibility study for the consideration of the 35th session of the World Heritage Committee (taking into account cost, timeliness, practicability and net benefits to States Parties) of options to refine and augment the provision of support, advice and feedback to States Parties throughout and prior to the nomination process;

21. Requests moreover the World Heritage Centre to explore ways to strengthen the development of successful nominations and protection of properties through the allocation and monitoring of International Assistance under the World Heritage Fund, as well as to make available on its website best practices to assist the development of nominations;

22. Also encourages States Parties, on a voluntary basis and as appropriate, with the advice of Advisory Bodies, to explore effective and efficient utilization of their Tentative List.

 

 IV. Working methods of statutory organs of the Convention

23. Notes moreover the report provided by the participants of the consultation meeting (held Manama, 16-17 December 2009) on the scope and agenda of the expert meeting on the decision-making procedures of statutory organs of the World Heritage Convention and adopts the recommendations in Attachment D that define the scope, objectives, agenda and method of participant selection of the expert meeting on decision-making procedures in statutory organs of the World Heritage Convention;

24. Welcomes moreover the offer of Australia and Bahrain to host the expert meeting in Bahrain, 2-4 October 2010, on the decision-making procedures of the statutory organs of the World Heritage Convention to identify opportunities for increasing the efficiency and transparency of these procedures; takes note of Document WHC-10/34.COM/14 which presents the results of a feasibility study on the possibility of holding two annual sessions of the World Heritage Committee; requests in addition that the expert meeting study and prepare measures to optimize the work of the statutory organs of the World Heritage Convention; and also requests the expert meeting to provide proposals for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 35th session in 2011;

25. Finally requests the organizers of the expert meeting in Bahrain to also include the examination of the Rules of Procedure on the conduct of and participation in World Heritage Committee meetings, and in particular, on adoption of decisions particularly in respect of:

a) The application of the procedure for secret ballots during the course of the adoption of decisions,

b) An analysis of the frequency and context of the application of the secret ballot while in the course of the adoption of decisions,

c) Possible implications for the interpretation of Rules 25, 26, 40, 41 and 42 and their amendments,

d) The participation of persons qualified in the field of cultural and natural heritage (as set out in Rule 5.2) and the transmission of their qualification (as set out in Rule 5.3),

e) The application of Rule 45.

Themes: Working methods and tools, World Heritage Convention
Session: 34COM