The UNESCO World Heritage Centre, in cooperation with the Kazakhstan National Commission for UNESCO, with the support of the UNESCO Japanese Funds-in-Trust and the UNESCO Korean Funds-in-Trust Silk Roads projects, is organizing the 4th Meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the Silk Roads Serial World Heritage Nomination from 24 to 26 November 2015 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Together with 5 Central Asian countries and China, UNESCO has coordinated the preparation of the transnational serial World Heritage nomination of the Silk Roads since 2003. Central Asia and China have supported the project through organizing regional and sub-regional consultation meetings, the establishment of inter-governmental Coordinating Committee composed of 12 participating countries, and the elaboration with ICOMOS and UNESCO of a Thematic Study on the Silk Roads. Since 2006, the UNESCO Japanese Funds-in-Trust and Norwegian Funds-in-Trust projects for the Central Asian Silk Roads have supported and secured targeting capacity building and nomination development within the Central Asia region, in addition to the UNESCO Korean Funds-in-Trust also recently having been operational since July 2013 for the South Asian Silk Roads project. As a result of eight international and regional consultation meetings and the efforts of the three Coordinating Committee meetings between 2006 and 2012, two nomination files were prepared. These two nominations were reviewed at the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in June 2014 (Doha, Qatar). The Committee decided to inscribe on the World Heritage List the “The Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an - Tian-shan Corridor”, submitted by China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The 4th Coordinating Committee Meeting will bring together national focal points and experts from the twelve country members of the Silk Roads Coordinating Committee: Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It is hoped those other participating countries: Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Pakistan and Turkey, will also join. The meeting will review the progress of the Silk Road World Heritage Nominations processes including the South Asian Silk Roads, the Silk Roads Syr Darya Heritage Corridor, other initiatives such as the Maritime Silk Roads and Mausam: Maritime Routes and Cultural Landscapes, and will consider the potential needs of a further development of the ICOMOS Silk Roads Thematic Study covering Eastern Asia and Western Asia. Furthermore, this 4th Silk Roads Coordination Committee meeting will invite ICOMOS and other related international experts as resource persons to present together with UNESCO staff the ongoing international Silk Roads activities including UNESCO Japan-Funds-in-Trust and UNESCO Korean-Funds-in-Trust projects supporting Silk Roads World Heritage Nomination process. Their participation will also ensure discussions on further technical assistance and cooperation.