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Committee Decisions

34 COM 7A.20

Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls (site proposed by Jordan) (C 148 rev)

The World Heritage Committee,

I.

1. Having examined Document WHC-10/34.COM/7A.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 33 COM 7A.18, adopted at its 33rd session (Seville, 2009),

3. Recalling the relevant provisions on the protection of cultural heritage including the four Geneva Conventions (1949), the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954, the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972, the inscription of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls at the request of Jordan on the World Heritage List (1981) and on the List of World Heritage in Danger (1982), and the recommendations, resolutions and decisions of UNESCO,

4. Recalling the importance of maintaining the integrity and authenticity of the Old City of Jerusalem,

5. Affirming the necessity of cooperation to facilitate access to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, including heritage sites therein, in the context of the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972, and recognizing in this regard the existing physical obstacles,

6. Affirming that nothing in the present decision, which aims at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, shall in any way affect the relevant United Nations resolutions and decisions, in particular the relevant Security Council resolutions on the legal status of Jerusalem,

7. Thanks international donors for their generous contributions to the UNESCO Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and calls upon the international donor community to further support, through extra-budgetary funding, activities aimed at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem, in particular in the context of the Action Plan;

8. Requests the World Heritage Centre to make technical expertise and assistance available for the current and future conservation works foreseen in the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, taking into consideration the activities foreseen in the context of the Action Plan, as needed;

9. Recognizes the concerns raised about the Israeli archaeological excavations and works in the Old City and on both sides of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, and asks the Israeli authorities to provide the World Heritage Centre with all relevant information and details about them, and also requests the World Heritage Centre to play a proactive role in this regard;

10. Encourages the Director-General to take the necessary measures, in consultation and cooperation with the concerned parties, to reactivate and reinvigorate the implementation of the short-, medium- and long-term objectives of the Action Plan, including training, education and cultural activities, and the preservation of sites and monuments of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls as inscribed on the World Heritage List;

11. Requests a joint World Heritage Centre/ICCROM/ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission to the property as referred to in the Operational Guidelines to assess and advise on progress made in the implementation of the Action Plan and, in cooperation and consultation with the concerned parties, identify appropriate operational and financial mechanisms and modalities to strengthen technical cooperation with all concerned parties in the framework of the Action Plan;

12. Thanks the World Heritage Centre for the steps undertaken in the implementation of the Action Plan for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and further requests it to report on this matter and on the state of conservation of the property at its 35th session in 2011;

II.

13. Recalling 176 EX/Special Plenary Meeting/Decision, adopted by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 176th session, Decision 32 COM 7A.18 adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008), and Decision 181 EX/5 (II) adopted by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 181st session,

14. Reaffirming the purpose and spirit of the professional encounter at the technical level of 13 January 2008, as well as the follow-up meeting of 24 February 2008,

15. Noting the Sixth Reinforced Monitoring Report (February 2009) prepared by the World Heritage Centre,

16. Regretting the postponement of the follow-up meeting of experts which was scheduled on 12 November 2008, as called for in Decision 32 COM 7A.18, due to circumstances that have impeded Jordanian experts from having access to the Mughrabi Ascent site,

17. Recognizing the existence of deep concerns regarding the decision by the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Commission on the town planning scheme for the Mughrabi Ascent,

18. Requests that, despite the decision mentioned in Paragraph 17, the process for the design of the Mughrabi Ascent be inclusive of all parties concerned, in accordance with the spirit and content of previous World Heritage Committee decisions;

19. Reaffirms in this regard that no measures, unilateral or otherwise, should be taken which will affect the authenticity and integrity of the site in accordance with the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972 and, as necessary, the relevant provisions of the UNESCO Conventions on the protection of cultural heritage;

20. Being aware that the process for the design of the Mughrabi Ascent, which allows for the taking into consideration of the designs submitted during the aforementioned professional encounter, is still under way, also requests the World Heritage Centre to follow closely, in the context of the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism, the developments associated with this process;

21. Thanks the World Heritage Centre for facilitating the holding of the professional encounter at the technical level of 13 January 2008, as well as the follow-up meeting of 24 February 2008, between Israeli, Jordanian and Waqf experts, as requested by Decision 31 COM 7A.18;

22. Reiterates its request that the Israeli authorities continue the cooperation commenced with all concerned parties, in particular with Jordanian and Waqf experts;

23. Reaffirms the necessity of cooperation in order to arrange for access to the Mughrabi Ascent site, and reiterates the call on the Director-General to organize a follow-up meeting of experts as soon as possible, once the parties concerned have reached an agreement;

24. Takes note of the recent exchange of correspondence between Israel (letter dated 31 May 2009) and Jordan (letter dated 12 June 2009) aiming at reaching an agreement that may allow the Director-General to organize a follow-up meeting as soon as possible;

25. Decides to continue applying the Reinforced Monitoring Mechanism for the state of conservation of the Mughrabi Ascent, and further requests a report from the World Heritage Centre at least every three months, until the 35th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2011;

III.

26. Decides to retain the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Themes: Conservation, List of World Heritage in Danger, Reinforced Monitoring
Session: 34COM