The Italian government and UNESCO have entered into a joint agreement to enhance their cooperation within the framework of the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the Cultural and Natural Heritage. The aim of the agreement is to reinforce the effectiveness of the World Heritage Convention, promote Global Strategy for a more representative World Heritage List, and improve the management of cultural and natural sites inscribed on it.
The goal of the agreement is to assist State Parties to the Convention in:
- Identifying underrepresented categories of cultural and natural properties, and accordingly prepare nomination dossiers for the inscription of sites;
- Assessing the state of conservation and management of sites inscribed on the List, as well as the training needs of staff responsible for those sites;
- Formulating requests for international assistance, for submission to bilateral and multilateral cooperation agencies, in favour of sites inscribed on the List.
Under the Funds-in-Trust agreement, defined between UNESCO and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, US $3,300,000 was made available for the period 2001-2005, with activities reviewed annually. The objectives defined are structured under three components:
- Missions of technical experts;
- Regional Technical Assistance Programs;
- Other World Heritage Centre activities, such as the 30th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, and a Report on the State of Conservation.
In 2004, Italy also committed US $300,000 in funding to continuing work to conserve the five World Heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.