The World Heritage Committee at its 28th Session requested the World Heritage Centre to convene a special meeting of experts of all regions on the concept of outstanding universal value as used for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

The World Heritage List includes 788 properties of great diversity in terms of types, location, size and age. What unites them all is that they are of outstanding universal value. The concept of outstanding universal value is elusive, yet it is crucial for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention as it touches upon each and every aspect of the conservation cycle.

After more than three decades of implementation of the World Heritage Convention, it is important and timely to evaluate the ways in which the concept of outstanding universal value has been perceived and applied in different regions and for different categories of heritage.