The World Heritage Committee consists of representatives from 21 of the States Parties to the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, elected by the General Assembly of States Parties to the Convention.
- The current composition of the Committee is: Argentina, Benin, Chile, China (Chair), Colombia, Egypt, India, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, South Africa (Rapporteur), and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- The essential functions of the Committee are to: (i) identify, on the basis of nominations submitted by States Parties, cultural and natural properties of outstanding universal value which are to be protected under the Convention and to list those properties on the World Heritage List; (ii) monitor the state of conservation of properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, in liaison with the States Parties; decide which properties included in the World Heritage List are to be inscribed on or removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger; and decide whether a property may be deleted from the World Heritage List; and (iii) examine requests for International Assistance from the World Heritage Fund
At its 6th Extraordinary session, March 2003, held in UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, the Chinese government reiterated its invitation to host the 28th session of the Committee in Suzhou, China.
The Committee reconfirmed that the 28thsession of the World Heritage Committee shall be held in Suzhou, China from 28 June to 7 July 2004.