Twelve new members were elected to the World Heritage Committee during the 17th General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention, held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France from 23 to 28 October. The new members of the Committee are Cambodia, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Iraq, Mali, Mexico, Russian Federation, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. Each country will serve a mandate of four years.
The 21-member World Heritage Committee meets once a year to discuss the state of conservation of sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, and to add new sites to the List. The next session of the Committee will be held from 25 July to 3 August 2010 in Brasilia, Brazil.
The General Assembly will also address the future of the World Heritage Convention, and discuss the theme "2012 and Beyond", the road map toward the 40th anniversary of the Convention and a long-term vision.