At the start of 2001 the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) and DOCOMOMO (Working Party for the Documentation and Conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement) launched a joint programme for the identification, documentation and promotion of the built heritage of the 19th and 20th centuries - the Programme on Modern Heritage.
With financial support from the government of the Netherlands, this programme focuses on raising awareness concerning the heritage of architecture, town planning and landscape design of the modern era, which is considered to be particularly vulnerable because of weak legal protection and low appreciation among the general public.
The Programme on Modern Heritage aims to establish a framework of conceptual thinking on the significance of this heritage, its preservation and some of the pivotal issues concerning identification and valorisation. This framework is being developed through the various Regional Meetings on Modern Heritage, which have been implemented by the World Heritage Centre, and should facilitate further, more concrete studies and exercises undertaken by the States Parties concerned.
The World Heritage Centre is currently in the process of publishing the outcomes and recommendations of the Regional Meetings on Modern Heritage.