The international dialogue on "Understanding rights practices in the World Heritage system: lessons from the Asia-Pacific and the global area" took place in Caux, Switzerland from 18 to 19 January 2016.
The meeting was organized by the University of Lucerne in cooperation with ICOMOS and IUCN, with support from the Swiss Network for International Studies, ICOMOS Norway and the Swiss National Science Foundation. Participants included researchers from Australia, Belgium, India, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland, the United States and Viet Nam as well as institutional representatives from the World Heritage Advisory Bodies (IUCN, ICOMOS and ICCROM) as well as the World Heritage Centre and the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCR).
Many participants stressed the importance of the recent World Heritage 'Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the process of the World Heritage Convention', also known as the 'Sustainable Development Policy', and its provisions on human rights. As the research project coordinator had formed part of the UNESCO expert group which formulated the draft policy, the Caux meeting offered a critical opportunity to not only discuss country level findings, but equally explore locally relevant implementation modalities and appropriate recommendations for taking global policy objectives forward to implementation.
During two days of intensive discussion and debate, preliminary findings and draft policy briefs were given by the international research team and shared with World Heritage practitioners. The meeting ended with the identification of possible follow-up opportunites as well as a shared call for action. Detailed information about specific case studies and lessons learned from national dialogues can be found here.