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Committee Decisions

36 COM 15

Presentation of the final accounts of the World Heritage Fund for 2010-2011, the interim financial statement and the state of implementation of the 2012-2013 Budget

The World Heritage Committee,

 1.  Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/15.Rev,

2.  Takes note of the statement of accounts of the World Heritage Fund for 2010-2011 and the situation of the reserves and contributions as at 31 December 2011;

3.  Recalls its budget decisions adopted since the 28th session of the Committee;

4.  Further recalls its decision at its 35th session to establish a Budget Working Group as a Consultative Body of the Committee in order to examine item 15 of the Agenda, to formulate its recommendations thereon and to report back to the Committee at its plenary session.

PART I

5.  Having examined Document WHC-12/36.COM/15.Rev Part II on the Budget implementation for the Biennium 2012-2013,

6.   Takes note of the statement of accounts of the World Heritage Fund for 2012-2013 and the current situation of the reserves and contributions as at 31 March 2012;

7.   Recalls that the payment of contributions is an obligation incumbent on States Parties under the Convention;

8.    Expresses its appreciation to the States Parties, who have already made their contributions and reiterates its request to States Parties to pay their annual contributions, by 31 January, and urges States Parties who have not yet paid the totality of their contributions, including voluntary contributions in accordance with Article 16.2 of the Convention, to ensure that their contributions are paid as soon as possible;

9.   Recalls its invitation to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies to harmonize the structure and format of their budget proposals;

10.  Approves the revised budget of US$5,208,205 for the World Heritage Fund for the biennium 2012-2013 and its corresponding breakdown as shown in Annex V, and notes that this amount constitutes a 21% reduction in the budget;

11.  Recalls with deep concern the current financial situation of the World Heritage Fund which hampers its ability to provide for activities related to the Convention, including conservation and management of properties, which is a top priority, as well as nominations, and recognizes the necessity to urgently improve the sustainability of the Fund which is required to underpin the Convention as a flagship of UNESCO;

12.  Deeply concerned that the substantial budget cuts to the World Heritage Fund have reduced international assistance and the provision of resources to the Advisory Bodies, which will mean that certain statutory activities such as evaluation and monitoring missions, services in the context of nominations and review of retrospective as well as provisional Statements of Outstanding Universal Value resulting from decisions of the Committee may not be fully undertaken,

13.  Notes that advisory services for the preparation or revision of nominations and increased dialogue between Advisory Bodies and States Parties in the evaluation of nominations are not currently covered by the funds provided to the Advisory Bodies and can only be undertaken if additional funding is made available for such activities;

14.  Also notes that a variety of other priority activities and strategic initiatives adopted by the World Heritage Committee regarding capacity building, upstream processes, and programmes of the World Heritage Centre are at risk without additional funding;

15.  Furthermore notes that the expenses of advisory services to States Parties in the preparation and revision of nominations are to be funded by the States Parties concerned;

16.  Requests concerned States Parties to provide voluntary assistance in covering the travel and accommodation expenses for evaluation and monitoring missions;

17.  Also requests the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to reconsider the detailed budget for ICOMOS in order to address the unfunded activities.

 

PART II

18.  Notes with concern the impact of the budget reduction of the UNESCO regular budget on programme activities, and appreciates the continuing efforts undertaken to manage and mitigate the challenges brought about by this situation;

19.  Expresses its appreciation to the Director-General for the finances allocated from the UNESCO Emergency Multi-Donor Fund to support the activities under the World Heritage Convention and appeals to the Director-General to consider allocating further resources from the Emergency Fund and other available sources of funding, in order to support the statutory functions of the Convention;

20.  Notes with appreciation the supplementary costs absorbed by the Russian Authorities as host of the 36th session of the Committee in addition to those listed in the Statement of Requirements;

21.  Recognizes that supplementary costs of future sessions of the Committee are reflected, in consultation with the host country, in the Host Country Agreement and the Statement of Requirements for the host country.

 

PART III

22.   Having examined document WHC-12/36.COM/15.Rev Part III on the sustainability of the World Heritage Fund,

23.   Notes that the World Heritage Fund will not increase significantly in future due to the universality of the Convention and the provisions of the Convention that determines the statutory funding of the World Heritage Fund;

24.   Further notes that due to the universality of the Convention the number of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List will continue to increase;

25.   Considers that without additional contributions being made to the World Heritage Fund, financial resources will not be sufficient to provide for the statutory processes as well as International Assistance, thereby threatening the credibility of the Convention and the fulfilment of its objectives;

26.   Highlights the urgent need to ensure the sustainability of the World Heritage Fund and having considered a range of options to this end, urges States Parties to consider allocating voluntary contributions to the World Heritage Fund, to the extent possible and within their capacity;

27.  Calls upon States Parties to give serious consideration to this appeal in order to ensure the sustainability of the World Heritage Fund as well as the integrity of the World Heritage regime;

28.  Decides that additional contributions received in terms of this appeal be utilized for International Assistance towards conservation and management of World Heritage properties;

29.  Requests the World Heritage Centre to report annually to the Committee on the amounts received as well as the contributors of voluntary contributions;

30.  Decides to review annually the response of States Parties in terms of paragraph 26 and to continue to explore appropriate ways to ensure the sustainability of the Fund;

31.  Further proposes that given the financial constraints on the World Heritage Fund that consideration be given to amending the number of nominations referred to in paragraph 61 b) and c) of the Operational Guidelines by further limiting the number of nominations to be considered annually by the World Heritage Committee;

32.   Decides that future decisions presented for the Committee’s approval that have financial implications not provided for in the approved budget be clearly identified and reflected in the relevant decisions of the Committee, upon adoption;

33.  Recommends that the World Heritage Centre, when preparing the budget for the next biennium (2014-2015), gives priority to conservation and monitoring activities;

34.   Finally requests the World Heritage Centre to report on the implementation of this Decision at its 37th session in 2013.

Themes: Budget, Administration
Session: 36COM