An expert meeting for the preparation of the serial transnational World Heritage nomination “Silk Roads: Fergana – Syrdarya Corridor” took place in Kyzylorda (Kazakhstan) on 14 November 2016, as follow-up to the Almaty Agreement adopted on 24–25 November 2015 during the Fourth Meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the World Heritage Serial Nomination of the Silk Roads held in Almaty (Kazakhstan).
The aim of the Kyzylorda expert meeting was to set the way forward for the Silk Roads: Fergana-Syradarya Corridor World Heritage serial and transnational nomination. The expert meeting brought together governmental representatives and experts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan along with representatives of UNESCO and international resource persons to discuss further technical assistance and cooperation. The participation of representatives of the Russian Federation was also welcomed.
At the occasion of the Kyzylorda Meeting, the general guiding principles and the coordination of the Silk Roads: Fergana-Syradarya corridor nomination process were reviewed. The Meeting also presented an opportunity to review the harmonization of the component parts of this potential nomination to be presented by the four States Parties. Finally, the Meeting also allowed discussing the potential attributes and statement of the Outstanding Universal Value of the Silk Roads: Fergana-Syrdarya Corridor. The Meeting was successfully concluded with adoption of the Kyzylorda Action Plan, which summarized the main results of this meeting as follows:
- Elect the newly established Centre for the Rapprochement of Cultures (Almaty, Kazakhstan) as the Secretariat for the Silk Roads: Fergana-Syrdarya Corridor nomination, with the support of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Culture and Sport and the UNESCO Office in Almaty. The function of the Secretariat is to facilitate communication between stakeholders, to coordinate the process of preparing the nomination between the four participating countries, and to liaise with the IICC Xi’an (China), as the Secretariat of Silk Roads Coordination Committee;
- The Ministries of Culture and the National Commissions for UNESCO of the four participating countries will make the final appointments of their national members to the Silk Roads: Fergana-Syrdarya corridor nomination Working Group (3-4 per country) and inform the World Heritage Centre and the Secretariat for the Silk Roads: Fergana-Syrdarya Corridor nomination;
- The Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport of Kazakhstan will act as (co-)Chair of the Working Group;
- The next venue of the Working Group meeting will be at the Centre for the Rapprochement of Cultures in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in the second half of 2017, pending the final decision of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Secretariat for the Silk Roads: Fergana-Syradarya corridor nomination;
- With the assistance of the Secretariat, there is a need for further consultation, discussion and agreement, between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan about the selection and harmonisation of the component parts; the potential attributes of OUV; and the draft Statement of the Outstanding Universal Value for the Silk Roads : Fergana-Syradarya Corridor. An agreement is necessary between the four participating States Parties prior the Fifth Silk Roads Coordination Committee Meeting (foreseen to be held in Iran in 2017);
- The information from the Russian experts on the section of the Silk Roads on the territory of Russian Federation was taken into consideration.
The organization of this meeting has benefited from the close collaboration between the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, National Commission of Kazakhstan for UNESCO, Kazakhstan National World Heritage Committee and UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty, with generous financial support from the Administration of Kyzylorda region (Kazakhstan) and the UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in-Trust Project: Support for Silk Roads World Heritage Sites in Central Asia (Phase II).