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Open-Ended Working Group for the revision of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention (2014)

At its 19th session (UNESCO, 2013), the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention decided (Resolution 19 GA 4) to fully apply Article 8, paragraph 2, of the World Heritage Convention which stipulates that “Election of members of the Committee shall ensure an equitable representation of the different regions and cultures of the world". In this regard, the General Assembly, decided to establish an Open-Ended Working Group of limited duration of one year with an equitable participation of all regions, which would meet in Paris, with extrabudgetary resources.

This Open-Ended Working Group's mandate was to make proposals to amend the Rules of Procedure in order to achieve the goal of an equitable geographical and cultural representation, including through allocation of seats by region (defined with reference to UNESCO’s electoral groups) on the World Heritage Committee, as well as other measures.

The first meeting of this Open-Ended Working Group (open to all States Parties to the Convention) took place on 23 and 24 January 2014 at UNESCO Headquarters. The Summary of this first meeting is available below (document e09).

The second meeting of this Open-Ended Working Group (open to all States Parties to the Convention) took place on 20 and 21 March 2014 at UNESCO Headquarters. The Summary of this second meeting is available below (document e10).

The third meeting of this Open-Ended Working Group (open to all States Parties to the Convention) took place on 20 May (afternoon) and 21 May (all day) 2014 at UNESCO Headquarters. The Summary of this second meeting is available below (document e11).

The General Assembly also decided to hold an extraordinary session in Paris, no later than November 2014, financed by extrabudgetary resources, to examine a draft resolution concerning the proposals referred to in paragraph 8, to be applied at the 20th session of the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention.  Therefore, other meetings of the Open-Ended Working Group may be convened before the extraordinary session of the General Assembly in November 2014, if deemed necessary by the Working Group.  Consequently, as indicated in Paragraphs 7 and 9 of Resolution 19 GA 4, States Parties are also invited to contribute extrabudgetary resources for the organisation of these meetings.

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